We had the good fortune of connecting with Felisha Burleson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Felisha, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I aged out of the foster care system in Texas in 2007. It was not the easiest transition. There was a lack of support as well as resources available to me. I tried to navigate adulthood with very few tools and resources I had at my access. Not only did I want to change the outcomes of Youth and Young adults who had experienced foster care, but other people who had similar circumstances that did not experience intervention from the system. We do not all have access to the same tools, resources, so my goal has been to reduce that disparity gap.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have been providing advocacy as well as information on the transition of aging out of foster care since about 2007. Changing the dynamics as well as outcomes for those who experienced the system after my departure has been central to my heart. I have done it in a variety of capacities and one day it registered to me that I should create something that’s beyond me. Something that is beyond the capacity that one individual can create. Many of us have heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child and I want to be that Village. In the village is not one person, it is a community of people who put all of their efforts toward growing and nurturing people of that community. My “villiage”, The Patchwork Society, is exactly what it sounds like. A patchwork quilt connects all of the pieces together. We have ELITE Youth development, which connects youth to Educational, Employment, Financial and Life Skills services. STAR Family Development that provides parenting support and courses. Lastly, we have ACE, that provides training to individuals who work in helping professions such as social workers, counselors, case workers etc.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would probably take her to Madea’s soul food in Forest Hill Texas, as well as Krab Kingz because she loves Seafood. We have the Scat Jazz Lounge which is cozy and comfortable. We have a variety of restaurants. We would definitely go to Gloria’s Latin Cuisine which is my favorite restaurant. And they also have dancing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I definitely want to shout out Dr Susan Cruz who is now a professor in North Carolina. Throughout my undergraduate courses she acted as a support as well as someone who encouraged me to move forward with pursuing my educational and professional goals. She has most definitely Ben a part of my journey from mentorship to letters of support two words of advice. I also want to say thank you to all of the people that have been a part of my support system. From my best friend to many of the people that I met in college. Those who provide words of encouragement, who have acted as board members, and who have leverage their support system to push forward a movement that supports youth in young adults.