Indiana student honored in national T-Mobile contest for helping foster care youth

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – An Indiana student honored for his dedication to foster care youth is heading to T-Mobile’s national headquarters.

The T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge is an annual prize that supports young changemakers across the country.

Thirty top winning teams were chosen out of 428 entries, including Ball State University student Matthew Peiffer.

Peiffer started his project, A Voice for Kids, a few years ago with the mission of being an advocate for children in foster care.

“Mentoring youth is a big part of it because often times decision makers listen to the parents and not the child in foster care, said Peiffer.

Matthew also uses his platform to train police and speak to policy makers about ways they can prevent child abuse in foster care.

It’s something he says he knows first hand.

Peiffer says he suffered 13 years of abuse in the foster care system and knows what to look for, like locks on doors.

His idea is to create a curriculum for law enforcement on how to better detect signs of abuse.

He says he’s already trained more than 500 officers in Indiana but wants to take his training national.

“We’re not focusing on foster care kids a lot because sometimes we focus on a lot of bigger issues and foster kids get forgotten about, and left behind. It’s important to remember that foster kids don’t have anywhere to go for the holidays. I go to the movies on Christmas day. Why don’t we take care of these kids more?” said Peiffer.

As part of the top 30 winning teams, Peiffer will receive seed funding and present his idea during a three-day workshop at T-Mobile’s Seattle headquarters in February.

“I still need helping bringing attention to A Voice for Kids,” he said.

One way to help is to comment and like his Changemaker Challenge page. You can find that here.