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Growing Up in the System

At age 21, Shirley Diaz is on the brink of aging out of the foster care system. Her life isn't easy now, and soon she'll be on her own, facing a new set of daunting issues.

Best Documentary: Silver2008 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition

2008 / Melissa Allison / Shirley "Star" Diaz / WNYC's Radio Rookies, USA

At age 21, Shirley Diaz is on the brink of aging out of the foster care system. Her life isn't easy now, and soon she'll be on her own, facing a new set of daunting issues.

Diaz describes her efforts to create a bright future for herself as she tries to make sense of her impending adulthood.

Growing Up in the System won the Best Documentary: Silver Award in the 2008 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. The story was edited by Marianne McCune, with help from Kaari Pitkin and Sanda Htyte.


produced by

Melissa Allison

Melissa Allison has worked as an independent producer and as an associate producer with The Kitchen Sisters, Homelands Productions, and WNYC's Radio Rookies.

Shirley "Star" Diaz

Shirley Diaz joined the Radio Rookies program in August 2007 and spent the next seven months producing her story about growing up in New York's foster care system.


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