Driven. Determined. Dedicated.
Kasey Olivier grew up on a farm in southwest Minnesota. At the age of seven, Kasey’s father died in a traumatic farming accident. His death forever changed Kasey’s life. Kasey was eventually declared a child in need of protective services and placed into the foster care system. It was there that Kasey learned of the challenges that face foster youth. Bouncing from home to home, Kasey quickly learned what it meant to be alone. “There is no stability in foster care. I was moved from home-to-home as other peoples’ lives changed. I had no control over what was happening in my life.”
During her senior year of high school, Kasey filed for legal emancipation and the right to leave foster care and move out on her own. She worked four jobs and nearly seventy hours a week, to pay for meager housing. There were many times when Kasey would swallow her pride and visit the food shelf in order to eat.
Most importantly, Kasey never gave up. She continued to work hard and set her sights on attending college. She graduated high school with honors and in the fall of 2006, she was admitted to Augustana University. After her freshman year at Augustana, Kasey interned with Senator Tim Johnson and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in Washington D.C. “That summer changed my life. Up until that point I wasn’t telling many people about my past. I came back from that internship and decided I could do something with this.”
Kasey decided to pursue a law degree. In order to save money on college tuition, Kasey transferred to Minnesota State, Mankato, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications, speech communications and public relations in 2009. She then moved to Vermillion, South Dakota, where she was admitted to the University of South Dakota, School of Law, in the fall of 2009.