Antonio McCaskill spent about 10 years in Pennsylvania's Foster Care System

Be the change you want to see in the world. That’s how Antonio McCaskill lives his life. After spending 17 years of his past in the foster care system, Antonio has dedicated his present to improving what he’s always known. Six years into a childhood wrought with struggle, Antonio was placed in foster care and moved from Philadelphia to the United Charity Children’s home in Hazleton, PA. The following years proved a different kind of difficult with suburban culture shock, complications to his congenital talipes equinovarus, and then living in a foster home with older siblings who often engaged in illegal activity. But along his way, Antonio found a path. These days, he divides his time between studying to become a registered nurse and working at a juvenile law center. Antonio’s deepest passion, however, is in his valiant work with the foster care system. Every week, Antonio dedicates himself to Youth Fostering Change (YFC), a youth-led advocacy group composed of youth formally or currently involved in the youth welfare system. And in fact, over the past two years, Antonio has emerged as one of the group’s most dedicated members. He’s also involved in the Southeastern PA Youth Advisory Board (YAB), regularly attending local and regional meetings, acting as a representative at state meetings and serving as a member of the leadership committee. Perhaps Antonio’s most invaluable work is in his relationship with the Allegheny House. At the group home, Antonio mentors youth, playing sports with them, listening and comforting them in difficult moments—a stable, consistent and positive force in the resident’s lives. And although Anthony’s humility would never allow him to tell you so, there are many who consider him to be a tireless advocate with an unwaveringly deep commitment to helping young people still involved in the foster care system—one who, as Anthony would say, “works to change the system they know best.”

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2011 Outstanding Young Leaders