People love to ask: "What's your secret?" Sometimes they want to know how I defy gravity on the mat. Other times they want to know how I went from foster care to the Olympics.
My answer to both is the same: a mix of talent, hard work and grabbing the right opportunity when given the chance. When I was far too young to know it, others around me saw that I had a gift for gymnastics. Without their encouragement and support, I would have never been a gymnast.
I was blessed to have both a gift and the chance to develop it. But many people aren't so lucky.
Did you know that in the United States there are nearly 400,000 children and youth in foster care? In my mind, those are 400,000 talents waiting to be discovered. But as few as 3% of foster kids go on to earn a bachelor's degree, compared to about 30% of the general population.
Is it possible that all of these young people have no desire to go on to higher education? Clearly not. They simply lack the support, and often the financial resources and opportunity to realize their potential.
So, I'm speaking up on their behalf to say it's time for an education revolution. It's time for a new model, where everyone has an opportunity to learn no matter their background.
And I want to advocate for these kids because I was a foster care kid myself. My road to success began the day my grandfather and his wife officially adopted my sister and me. My birth mother suffered from drug addiction, and when I was just three years old, my siblings and I were removed from her custody. From there, we bounced around until I was six and my grandparents made the brave move to adopt us.
Read all that Simone Biles had to say here.