NewsHillsborough County


Former foster child writes book to inspire children still in the system to have hope

Posted at 10:35 AM, Nov 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 15:54:28-05

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Elizabeth Sutherland gets emotional just looking at the photos of Tampa children currently in foster care.

“I see happiness and I see that these kids are full of life and they just want to feel like they are part of a home,” said Sutherland.

On Thursday a new art exhibit opens at the John F. Germany Public Library. It’s part of the Heart Gallery, which features photos of foster children waiting for their forever home.

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Sutherland’s own photo could have hung in the exhibit when she was a kid, as she bounced around a dozen foster homes before turning 18.

“One of the things I wanted the most was stability and having a loving family,” said Sutherland. “I was on my own, so I was trying to navigate this big world by myself.”

Despite having nothing, Sutherland went on to earn two college degrees. However, her passion has always been helping foster kids of today. So, she wrote a book about her journey, “No Ordinary Liz.”

“This is kind of a guide book that (says) you can go live the best life that you can no matter what the circumstances that you were facing,” said Sutherland.

Sutherland will be the keynote speaker during the opening of the Heart Gallery exhibit on the second floor at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21.

She hopes to be an inspiration to the children featured on the library walls.

“I want to show them that no matter what path they’ve been on, or they are currently on, that they can make it and they have the determination in them to be successful,” said Sutherland.

For more information on Sutherland and her book visit