Demarco Davis looks at life through the lens of a camera most days. Photography a big part of his life.
But his first years of life were not a pretty picture.
"I witnessed drug abuse, neglect, physical abuse and mental abuse from my biological father," Demarco Davis said.
Already taken away from his mother, Demarco endured a lot by the time he was 9 years old. DHS custody would hopefully give him a new chance at a normal life. Sadly, that never happened.
"I really want a family and someone that can just show me love and support and just someone I know I can go to for everything,' Demarco said.
He said on "A Place to Call Home" two years ago.
Demarco wanted a family to help him cope with past traumas.
Unfortunately, he never found a permanent family. One of the 23,000 children in the country who aged out of foster care, but nothing will hold this teen back from becoming successful.
"A lot of great things as well as a lot of change going on so it was a lot of emotions and things that I've never experienced,” Davis said.
It was a scary feeling, especially knowing the statistics: a higher likelihood of not finding a job or a home...until Youth Villages YVLifeSet stepped in to be that stability for Demarco.
"They're going to be helping me with college and I have a housing voucher that's kind of through DHS,” Davis said.
"We're working with them. We're focusing on things like employment, education, mental health, housing,” Erica Robinson, regional supervisor for Youth Villages said.
A Youth Villages LifeSet worker meets with each person once a week.
Davis just moved into his own apartment.
LifeSet paid for his deposit and another program through DHS will pay for his rent and the camera he uses to take photographs.
Now that he feels set, he's already helping others in foster care.
Demarco just went to Washington D.C. to speak to several governors on behalf of foster children everywhere.
"They're willing to listen and take notes and hopefully apply it to their state," Davis said.
"The benefits that DHS offers for kids aging out of foster care is so awesome and I think that's something all foster cares should be made aware of."
And he wants others kids who have walked in similar shoes to know they can change their future.
"I want to be that example for other foster kids that you don't have to struggle just because that's maybe where you came from when you were younger,” Davis said.
He said he would like to see more stable homes for children living in foster care. He said he moved around 50 times in his young life.
For more information on YVLifeSet visit https://www.youthvillages.org/yvlifeset/.
And for more information on the Oklahoma Successful Adulthood Program through DHS visit https://oksa.ou.edu/yes-i-can.
“A Place To Call Home” is sponsored by Great Plains Bank.