Education

Foster child dreams 'about being in the NFL and having a good family'

Miami foster child Giovanni seeks forever family

Miami foster child Giovanni hopes to be adopted. His story has been profiled by the Miami Heart Gallery.
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Miami foster child Giovanni hopes to be adopted. His story has been profiled by the Miami Heart Gallery.

The Heart Gallery, which exists online as an interactive exhibit, was birthed in 2009 out of a collaboration between The Children’s Trust and Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe. It aims to “find forever families” for foster children who cannot safely be returned to the custody of their biological parents.

This is Giovanni's story, in his own words:

My real name is Giovanni but they call me Gio just for short.

Q: Does everybody call you Gio?

Gio: Yea

Q: How old are you?

Gio: 13 and in eighth grade.

Q: So you’re about to go to high school, are you excited about that?

Gio: Yes

Q: What makes you excited about going to high school?

Gio: It’s exciting to me. I’m going to be in a school with a bunch of other kids, I’m going to be playing for the football team. I’m going to be happy.

Q: So tell me about that, how long have you been playing football?

Giovanni by Howie Sonnenschein LZ2A2543.JPG
Gio is 13 and in the eighth grade. What makes him happy: 'To be with someone I like being around. ' Howie Sonnenschein

Gio: I started late, because I was moving a lot so I started late. I started playing around 10 years old.

Q: So you’ve been playing for three years. How was your season this year?

Gio: It was OK. We went off 7 and 3.

Q: I hear you have a special trainer, is that right?

Gio: Yes. His name is John St. Clair, he played for the NFL for about 11 years and he retired at around 2011.

Q: How did you meet him?

Gio: I was in this little thing called Victorious Boys Symposium, it was like a little group for young black men that they go to events and do stuff for us and take us places.

Q: Nice, what else do you like about school besides football?

Gio: I like my learning. I don’t like boring teachers. I like when the teachers have excitement and make learning fun.

Q: Because it makes you excited about learning. What do you think you want to be when you grow up?

Gio: I want to be a business owner and I want to do clothing, all unisex.

Q: Tell me about that, have you just always been into clothes?

Gio: Yea and I draw a lot, I like to draw people with nice clothing on.

Q: So like a fashion designer?

Gio: Yea

Q: Do you like music?

Gio: Yea

Q: What kind of music do you like?

Gio: I like rap.

Q: What artists?

Gio: I like Future. …There’s one named Famous Dex, he is different from a lot of artists. He’s got red dreads.

Q: Nice, if we told you that we had a plane waiting for you and your friends, where would you go?

Gio: California. I heard that it’s beautiful down there.

Q: Do you have any pets?

Gio: I used to have a dog but not anymore.

Q: What kind of animals do you like?

Gio: I like anything four-legged, the only two-legged animal I like is a bird.

Q: If I asked your friends, how is Gio… what would they say?

Gio: They’ll tell you I’m funny.

Q: You have a great smile too, I’ll throw that out there. What do you dream about?

Gio: About being in the NFL and having a good family.

Q: Nice, what would be the perfect family?

Gio: I want to be married with a son and daughter. I want my wife to have an Infiniti and for me, a Rolls Royce.

Q: I like that. What makes you happy?

Gio: To be with someone I like being around. If I have a good friend, I like to be around him or her.

Q: What do you do for fun with your friends?

Gio: We talk about what’s been going on, we talk about what’s trending, play basketball, play football.

Q: What do you like to eat? What’s your favorite food?

Gio: Sushi. The crab roll, it’s like spicy and it has rice and got a little bit of salmon.

Q: Do you put wasabi on it?

Gio: Yea, and soy sauce

Q: What season of the year do you like most?

Gio: Christmas.

Q: What makes Christmas so awesome?

Gio: I only like Christmas when I’m with my family, we all get together and party and just give each other stuff.

Q: What about college? What are you thinking about?

Gio: I want to go to this college, University of Miami.

Q: Why do you think you want to come to UM?

Gio: I like the football team and the campus and there’s a lot of good stuff about the classes and majors.

Q: If you could have any superpower, what would you have?

Gio: Telekinesis…because you can do a lot with it. Fly and pick up stuff. Do a lot of stuff you can’t do.

Q: Who are your role models?

Gio: Superman because he doesn’t use his power for bad and he doesn’t kill. Obama because he’s someone you could look up to, he’s African-American and one of the first to be the President. And Martin Luther King, I like him because he had a dream to have peacefulness.

Q: Any other role models?

Gio: My brother, he never gave up on his dream. Even though he didn’t make the draft, he’s still trying to go to the NFL.

Each month, the Miami Herald will feature a Q&A with a Miami Heart Gallery child hoping to be adopted and find their forever home.

Contact

Families interested in temporarily fostering or permanently adopting a child can contact Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe at 305-455-6000 or visit their website at fosteringourkids.org.

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