Skip to main content
Keep Hope Alive starring Tony Da Realest

Keep Hope Alive starring Tony Da Realest

By Tony Da Realest
This Podcast is about my experiences in the Foster Care System. I share vulnerable stories about how I navigated the Foster Care System in NYC and the different resources that allowed me to get where I am. I also interview other former fosters about their experience as well and foster parents about what the process was like for them. I offer solutions on ways to improve the system and be a champion for the current youth in care throughout the Country. Thanks for dropping by! Also, check out my website for other stories and book me as a Speaker:
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Episode 28: Season 2 Finale!!! (with Suga Ray)
Hey what's going on Podcast, this is the final episode of Season 2!!! Super excited for everyone to be dropping by. With my boy Suga Ray interviewing me I reflect on the progress made from Season 1 to Season 2, things I would like to change going into Season 3, and the guest that came in to share their testimony. You won't want to miss this, be safe and be blessed, and most importantly, Keep Hope Alive. Thank you. 
January 06, 2021
Episode 27: Dareth’s Story
Hey what’s going on Podcast, the new year is almost here!! Speaking of things that are about to end Season 2 of the Podcast is almost finished as well. Dareth’s story is the last (and also the longest) story told this season about her struggle of fighting for her life in and out of care, finding hope in God, the injustice of seeing marginalized groups being oppressed, and a lot more. Thank you for dropping by and catch you in the very last episode of Keep Hope Alive!
December 30, 2020
Episode 26: Why Foster kids hate the Holidays......
Hey wassup Podcast, Tony Da Realest back at it again. It's almost the Holidays!!!! It's supposed to be the greatest time of the year right??! Well, not so fast. You see, when young people are in care they tend not to be with their biological family or may have experienced some abuse/neglect and spending what's typically a joyous holiday with absolute strangers. It's not a fun experience at all, in fact, it can be alienating and lonely. In today's episode, I break down why instead of celebrating with laughter some kids find themselves more lonely than ever.....
December 23, 2020
Episode 25: My thoughts on Queensbridge
Hey, what's happening Podcast, Tony Da Realest back here again. My apologies if my day ones have seen this already, I had to redo this episode from Season 1. This episode talks about my honest feelings on Queensbridge, my experiences, and my future plans afterward. 
December 16, 2020
Episode 24: Honest Conversation about Suicide Prevention with Mike Veny
Hey Podcast, Tony Da Realest back with another episode. I have not just any guest but Mike Veny here as a guest!! Not only is he one of the most influential speakers in mental health, but he's also a great friend of mine and a mentor that has been showing me the ropes. Words cannot describe how honored I am to have him on my Podcast as the man I've looked up to. In this heavy topic, we share our stories about suicide, time in the hospital, how to self-care, and the process of recovery. Disclaimer: The subject matter may be triggering for individuals with a similar background.  For more information on Mike Veny check out his website at: .  You can also find his book here:
December 09, 2020
Episode 23: How City Living saved my Life
Hey wassup Podcast, Tony Da Realest, back here with another episode. Also, my birthday was yesterday so show me some love y'all! In any case, this is a special episode where I talk about the profound impact that City Living has had on me. Having the support, resources, and reliability that someone is always there for me has meant the world to me. Liz has shown me what real support looks like, celebrating victories, and making my apartment feel like a home when I had no way of doing so. I encourage everyone who would like to donate to the cause and/or learn more information check out:
December 02, 2020
Episode 22: Overcoming the Odds with Gabby
Hey what's happening Podcast, I have another special guest with me today. I sit down sit Gabriel talking about how she overcame the system and used it to her advantage. From knowing her throughout the New Yorker's for Children Youth Advisory Board come up with innovative solutions to seeing her interview the ACS Commissioner about racism and how it intersects with Foster Care Gabby has been a selfless and tireless warrior for change. Gabby talks of extension to policy, changing the scope of how young adults in care are perceived, her aspirations to be a teacher. Come listen as she talks about overcoming the odds and being one of the strongest advocates in NYC. 
November 25, 2020
Episode 21: The Connection behind Tutoring with Ericka
Hey wassup Podcast, Tony Da Realest back here with another episode! In today's episode, I have Ericka François, an amazing friend of mine who has been through many hardships and shares her expertise in tutoring. Ericka goes in-depth with her personal journey, creating herself, blazing her own path, and balancing expectations when in college. You won't want to miss this episode! If you want to find out more about Ericka connect with her here:çois-a427aa12b
November 18, 2020
Episode 20: Redefining Normal with Justin and Alexis Black
Hey Podcast, this is Tony Da Realest back here with another episode! Today's guest is an amazing couple that has an incredible list of accomplishments including starting their own entrepreneurial ventures, traveling across many different countries, proud graduates of Western Michigan University, among many others. In their inspiring and authentic autobiography, Redefining Normal: Two Foster Kids Beat The Odds and Discovered Healing, Happiness, and Love. This memoir speaks about abandonment, mental health struggles, self love, and childhood trauma. The book is honest, raw, and beautiful written and that's what I deep dive into today. To help support check out: To contact Alexis and Justin about media appearances, coaching or speaking at your event, email To subscribe to their email list to learn more about their journey, information on healthy relationships and stay tuned for their upcoming books, visit or listen to our ROSE From Concrete podcast at To connect with Justin and Alexis on Facebook @redefiningnormal Instagram @redefiningnormal Justin’s Blog: ROSE Empowerment Group, a youth-serving organization on the importance of self, community and impact. For more info, go to Contact: 
November 11, 2020
Episode 19: The Black Foster Youth Handbook Official Launch with Angela Banks
Hey what's going on Podcast, I hope everyone is doing well. In today's episode I have an amazing women who is shaping change in the Foster care system at a rapid rate and has been doing so for a long time now. Angela is the new author of The Black Foster Youth Handbook, helping young people successfully age out of foster care and beat these, as well as other statistics placed upon them. This Handbook is also to support work being done by their supportive adults (Foster parents, therapist, etc)book : To show support check her out at: as well as her website
November 04, 2020
Episode 18: Running from my Past, smiling towards my future with Ella
Hey wassup Podcast, this is Tony Da Realest back here with another episode. Today's guest is Ella, a long time friend who has been through her share of difficult times. She shares her story of getting into the Foster Care system, what made her run frequently from placements, going into therapy, and tips that she would give her younger self among other things.
October 28, 2020
Episode 17: Let's talk about Self-Care with Leah Florence!
Hey all! Glad to have everyone here and welcome to Season 2! Leah was an intern at New Yorkers for Children and a Social Work student helping with the Youth Advisory Board and engaging the group. In today's episode Leah shares tangible ways to self care while I break down exactly what is self care and why it's so important.
October 21, 2020
Episode 16: The Season Finale!!!
Thank you all for this short journey of the first season!! I share my honest thoughts, plans for the second season, people I'd like to connect with, and little changes I'll be making. This has honestly been the most fun I've ever had doing a Project and hope to come back to the show bigger and stronger than ever!!  Connect with me on Facebook @ Anthony Turner (Tony) IG: Tony_Da_Realest  Website: Update:Season 2 dropping October 21st!
June 08, 2020
Episode 15: Emotional Check-In with Ayana
Hey wassup Podcast! Tony Da Realest back here with another episode. I bought back my first guest Ayana to this episode and we talk in depth about coping with the pandemic, projects that we're working on regarding Foster Care, and burnout that happens when you work passionately.
May 25, 2020
Episode 14: Medication wasn't what I needed....
Hey wassup Podcast, Sorry for the week I missed but I'm back and better than ever. I've been putting my energy into making my social media Campaign "I survived Foster Care" and allowing others to present their struggles in the system. But in todays episode I talk about the lasting impact that psychotropic medication has had and why I needed the community to transform. Thanks for dropping by and keeping hope alive!
May 18, 2020
Episode 13: Youth Records should be expunged
Hey wassup Podcast, this is Tony Da Realest again! Today I share my honest thoughts on why youths records should be expunged in the Foster Care system and what are some better alternatives that can be done to help lead them on the right path! Hope you enjoy and keeping well, I'll see you in the next one.
May 04, 2020
Episode 12: Maintaining Connections during the Pandemic
Hey Wassup Podcast! This is Tony Da Realest back again! I don't know about you guys but more than ever I need to hear someone, to get a hug, something! I've always been isolated since a kid and with the Pandemic I make a breakthrough in making more of an effort to connect. Do you feel more isolated than ever before? Have you been talking to your support? Is there any way I can help? Email me at, I'd love to know how your doing!
April 27, 2020
Episode 11: How I thrive in the face of COVID - 19
Hey wassup Podcast, hope you missed me for my week off. I'm back in the swing of things now (mostly). Today i share how I've been thriving in this Pandemic and the coping skills to take on a serious life threatening virus that can not only affect you physically but mentally. Hope you take a lot from this segment and don't forget to pay a visit to my new website at:
April 20, 2020
Episode 10: 5 things you must do before you leave Foster Care!
Hey wassup Podcast! The first few minutes I discuss my anxiety with the current Pandemic and my difficulty adjusting to a rapid change in lifestyle. I then share 5 things that I feel every Foster youth needs before they leave the Foster Care system. If you are 17 or 18 and currently in care you NEED to listen to this episode!! Thanks for tuning in and hope to hear you in the next one!
March 30, 2020
Episode 9: Writing saved my Life
Hey Podcast, Tony Da Realest again! I want to share with you what ultimately got me through my difficult times in Care. Writing has a special place in my heart and it's been the biggest help in finding myself and healing the deep rooted wounds that still lay within me. I hope you feel encouraged and would love to know what has helped you get through difficult times when you feel overwhelmed! Thanks for dropping by and see you in the next one!
March 23, 2020
Episode 8: Diego's Untold Story
Hey Podcast, Tony Da Realest here. Super glad to be having my next interview and this is someone I've had the chance to really have a good friendship with in the last month I've known him. In the interview, Marcus shares his passion for improving the system and some of the things he would change if he could. Thanks for dropping by and enjoy the episode!
March 16, 2020
Episode 7: How I nearly got evicted and what you can learn from it.
Hey Podcast, this is Tony Da Realest! This is the final Episode of the Housing series and I'm both sad and happy that it's ending. I couldn't do it without you guys, the listeners. I believe this Episode is the best way to tie up all loose ends and close out the chapter for the time being. Thank you so much for being here and I hope you enjoy the end of the Housing Series!
March 09, 2020
Episode 6: Why I have an emotional Attachment to my keys
Hey Podcast, this is Tony Da Realest! Thank you so much for tuning in today. I have a new Mic that I have been using recently and just want to make sure that there's an improvement from previous episodes. For any feedback please DM me @ Also feel free to follow me on IG and Twitter at Tony_Da_Realest and my Facebook at Anthony Turner. Enjoy the episode and hope to catch you in the next one!
March 02, 2020
Episode 5: All about the Housing Academy
Hey Podcast, it's your host Tony Da Realest! In this Episode I break down the very important topic of the Housing Academy, what the heck it is, my thoughts on how it can be improved, and the potential future I see for it. This is especially important as Housing represents stability for a lot of foster youth and the workshop is teaching how to maintain said stability!
February 17, 2020
Episode 4: Why I love living on my own!
Hey, wassup Podcast! It's your host Tony Da Realest. Today's episode is light and short, I give 10 reasons why I love living on my own! Do you agree with my list? Do you prefer roommates? Are there other reasons you like living on your own? Let me know and we can chop it up at Anthony Turner on FB or send me an email at See y'all in the next one. 
February 10, 2020
Episode 3: My honest feelings getting my first Apartment
Hey!! Really hoped you enjoyed my last EP, today's episode kicks off my first official series, the Housing series. I share my honest feelings on what it was like to get my apartment, the process behind it, and some letdowns and some triumphs. Thanks for dropping in and let's goooo!
January 27, 2020
Episode 2: What defines Blackness? (feat Ayana Chung)
My first ever Interview! And I want to take a moment to celebrate Martin Luther King. My apologies for the low audio, I'm still getting things situated. Today's topic is pretty heavy. With my guest and lifelong friend Ayana Chung we do a deep dive into what defines blackness and what are some of the ongoing struggles that African Americans face, the color divide, and personal experiences that shape us to be who we are. I hope this episode sheds light on some of the struggles that some may face with being Black in America.
January 20, 2020
Episode 1: Should I sign myself out of the Foster Care system?
In today's topic I go over the decision every single Foster youth has to make in their life regardless of their gender identity, sexual identity, age, or race. And that's the decision whether to stay in the Foster Care System or not. The Foster Care system has a ton of flaws and may be the place where you feel uncomfortable but there are surprisingly some people who choose to stay! Stay tuned to my personal story and share this among your friends and family. Enjoy!
January 13, 2020
Episode 0: Welcome to Keep Hope Alive: Starring Tony Da Realest!
This is the introduction to my new Podcast! In this intro, I share what inspired me to do this Podcast, the topics I plan on creating, and my overall passion for the Foster Care system here in NYC. I am thrilled to be starting this and I hope you enjoy my wild journey of how to make a positive change in the Foster Care system.
December 30, 2019