Celebrating the Life of Alasia

It is with a heavy heart that we share very difficult news about one of our mentees, Alasia, who you may remember was featured at last year’s Match celebration with her mentor Meghan.

Alasia passed away after being struck by a vehicle in late January. Needless to say, this news has been devastating for her mentor and for everyone in the Silver Lining community who had the honor of knowing her.

Alasia was a mentee at Silver Lining for nearly 5 years. She was a larger than life presence at SLM. The brave way she shared her story made an impact on everyone who heard it. Since receiving the news, staff, mentees, mentors, and our Board have held space to process our grief and share memories of Alasia. We struggled with whether and how to share this news with our larger community, but after giving her inner circles time to grieve and knowing she had an impact on those who came to know her even briefly through her story, we wanted Alasia to have the remembrance that she deserves.

Alasia was an active leader on our Participant Advisory Board who was preparing to share her foster care experience with members of Congress. She was a courageous, resilient, passionate young woman whose humor and charisma drew people to her wherever she went. She was effervescent and always up for an adventure—whether kicking off a pair of heels to suddenly climb a tree or convincing her mentor to join her at a late night dance party, Alasia exuded joy and lived life to the fullest.

Jesse Kerstetter, who leads SLM’s Participant Advisory Board and worked closely with Alasia, shared this reflection: “Alasia always had an eye on community. She wanted to connect and support those people closest to her, but also those she’s never met and have lived similar experiences as she had. Alasia would frequently mention the interconnectivity of the universe, not only could she see it, but I was able to witness her own ability to build connection and see the light in the world around us.”

Alasia had a remarkable ability to pull people together, which was evident during her services. Many of us from Silver Lining attended her funeral and were moved by the magnitude and diversity of the crowd who came to celebrate Alasia’s life. The minister stopped mid-service to share his reverent amazement that he had never seen so many people with so many different identities and life experiences come together in his church. It was a testament to who Alasia was. She has left behind a legacy of love.

As always in moments of crisis, I am reminded of the power of community and connection, which is what brought Alasia to us in the first place. I’m grateful to be in this work alongside each of you and am so proud to know that Alasia’s life and light were significantly brighter as a result of the bond she shared with her mentor Meghan. She undoubtedly changed all of us at Silver Lining for the better.

The Silver Lining team carries Alasia in our hearts as we continue our work to empower and uplift young people impacted by foster care.

Colby Swettberg
Chief Executive Officer
Silver Lining Mentoring

Below are several resources for living with grief. Please know that the SLM team is here to listen or answer questions.

  1. 5 Stages of Grief
  2. Brene Brown & David Kessler – Grief and Finding Meaning podcast
  3. It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand – The link is for the ebook and physical copy at the Boston Public Library, but it can be found at many local libraries.