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Wednesday's Child: 16-year-old Jaylana

Wednesday's Child: 16-year-old Jaylana
Wednesday's Child: 16-year-old Jaylana 02:35

WOBURN - May is Foster Care Month. More than 8,000 children and teens are in foster care in Massachusetts right now and every one of them has a unique story and needs.

This week's Wednesday's Child, Jaylana, hopes to find an adoptive family that's right for her. JJ, as she likes to be called, just turned 16. She has a wide range of interests and talents and has her eyes set on going to college.

So how would she describe herself?

"Quiet at first and then I'd probably be forward and then speak freely around you," she told WBZ-TV. "I'm very loud."

"I like to draw. I like to write. I like making collages. I like to read, I like playing video games," she added. "I like to swim. I like riding bikes!"

JJ is looking forward to studying graphic design in college, but what she needs first is a family that could lead her toward a bright future. 

Jaylana  CBS Boston

"She is a wonderful young woman with so much potential and there's so much opportunity if we can get her the stability and support that she deserves," said Bridget Chiaruttini, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE).

Chiaruttini said 600 children in Massachusetts need homes right now and half are age 12 and older.

"There's not a perfect family for any child, right? Each child has their own individual needs, wants, desires, and challenges," she told WBZ.

Jaylana hopes for someone who can help her get to college, but Chiaruttini points out that there is a lot of help and a support system for a family who might find that daunting.

"It doesn't take a perfect parent, right? It takes someone who is committed, loving, unconditional and willing to support her and meet her where she's at," Chiaruttini said. 

For more information you can contact MARE: 617-964-MARE (6273) or visit

Since its inception in 1981, Wednesday's Child has been a collaboration of the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE), the Department of Children & Families and WBZ-TV/CBS Boston. Hosted by Jack Williams for 34 years, this weekly series has given a face and voice to the children who wait the longest for families. Wednesday's Child has helped find homes for hundreds of waiting children and continues to raise awareness about adoption from foster care.

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