Foster Leaders Weekly Updates – 4/2/2018

**If you would like to share any event(s), resource(s), or any other update(s) that are beneficial to those transitioning out of foster care or those who are dedicated to guiding them through this transition, please comment on this post with a brief summary, in which states this information is relevant, and link(s) where we can find more information. **

NEWEST LEADERSHIP NETWORK MEMBER

Brittany from Fulton County, Georgia
Brittany Myers 2

BULLETIN BOARD

ALABAMA
We have a former foster youth in Cullman County who is interested in becoming a foster parent. Are there any veteran foster parents who would like to make themselves available as a mentor or would like to comment with helpful advice?

ARIZONA
via Laura with Arizonans for Children: The church Arizonans for Children has been storing the gifts for the 2018 Holiday Party for kids in foster care has given us until 4/11 to move everything out. We need storage ASAP. Without storage over 1000 kids in foster care will not get Christmas of any kind. These are kids that have already lost everything, family, home, friends and any sense of stability. The Arizonans for Children Annual Holiday Party is often the only bright spot for these kids during the holiday season. If you can help or know someone that can help please let me know az4children.laura@gmail.com 480-295-6963.

HIGHLIGHTED FORMER FOSTER YOUTH TALENT

FORMER FOSTER YOUTH LEADERSHIP STORIES

NATIONWIDE

Could the Next Top Civil Rights Leader be a Former Foster Youth?
Link: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/religion/sd-me-shane-harris-20180220-story.html

CALIFORNIA

California Youth Connection and Foster Youth in Action Join Together to Promote Former Foster Youth Leadership
Link: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/event/la-foster-youth-power-summit

MASSACHUSETTS

Former Foster Youth, Gianna Simone, Becoming a Star Actress
Link: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/03/23/gianna-simone-recalls-childhood-abuse-struggles-in-foster-care-before-finding-fame-in-hollywood.html

Former Foster Youth, Olivia Francois, Running a Ministry that Feeds those Experiencing Homelessness
Link: http://www.telegram.com/entertainmentlife/20180323/breaking-bread-in-worcester-feeds-homeless-gives-youths-chance-to-serve

OREGON

Schuyler Davis Raises 250 Easter Baskets for Foster Youth in Lane County……and counting.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fprojectfosterkidsusa%2Fvideos%2F1034931646663142%2F&show_text=0&width=267

UPCOMING EVENTS

TEXAS

Please also save the date for TNOYS’ 2018 Annual Conference, June 5-8 at the Westin Galleria in Houston, which will focus on youth voice and youth/adult partnerships to build resiliency of youth.

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Foster Leaders Weekly Updates – 3/27/2018

**If you would like to share any event(s), resource(s), or any other update(s) that are beneficial to those transitioning out of foster care or those who are dedicated to guiding them through this transition, please comment on this post with a brief summary, in which states this information is relevant, and link(s) where we can find more information. **

INTRODUCING NEW FOSTER LEADERS

Twanee
Twanee Sabb

Jessica
Jessica Walters

 

BULLETIN BOARD

ALABAMA
We have a former foster youth in Cullman County who is interested in becoming a foster parent. Are there any veteran foster parents who would like to make themselves available as a mentor or would like to comment with helpful advice?

ARIZONA
via Laura with Arizonans for Children: The church Arizonans for Children has been storing the gifts for the 2018 Holiday Party for kids in foster care has given us until 4/11 to move everything out. We need storage ASAP. Without storage over 1000 kids in foster care will not get Christmas of any kind. These are kids that have already lost everything, family, home, friends and any sense of stability. The Arizonans for Children Annual Holiday Party is often the only bright spot for these kids during the holiday season. If you can help or know someone that can help please let me know az4children.laura@gmail.com 480-295-6963.

HIGHLIGHTED VIDEO

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsierraff%2Fvideos%2F10156063622269429%2F&show_text=0&width=560

FORMER FOSTER YOUTH VOICES

Discussion on the Role that Colleges and Universities Play in the Lives of Foster Youth (This Includes a Link to Support Programs for Foster Youth in College around the Nation)
Link: https://youthtoday.org/2018/03/colleges-universities-should-be-pressured-to-help-students-in-foster-care/

4 Former Foster Youth from Arizona Share their Stories
Link: https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2017/11/03/foster-care-arizona-eric-davis/691344001/

NOTABLE UPDATES

CALIFORNIA

Former Foster Youth Appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission for Children and Families
https://lbpost.com/news/long-beach-resident-former-foster-child-appointed-to-county-commission/

TEXAS

Friday’s Child is a Film about a Foster Youth Aging-Out of Foster Care in Killeen, TX.
Links:
http://kdhnews.com/news/texas/killeen-foster-care-system-featured-element-of-friday-s-child/article_03c157fa-2b92-11e8-8574-732d5c84ce85.html
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5342090/

WASHINGTON

Driver’s Assistance Program for Foster Youth 16-21 in the State of Washington
Links:
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/treehouse-to-provide-auto-insurance-at-no-charge-statewide-for-youth-in-foster-care-300618351.html
http://www.treehouseforkids.org/our-services/drivers-assistance/

Leadership Profile: Scarlet from Winston County, Alabama

Jade Scar

 

 

Location:  Winston County, Alabama
Number of Years in Foster Care: 6 Years 
Interests: Drawing and Poetry

Definition of Leadership: The ability to find self – confidence in yourself, not in trying to please everyone else. Learning to love yourself, as well as to know you deserve to be loved. Also being bold in making your own choices in life.

Goals: To start taking Bible Classes and Christian Counseling Classes

Please browse the powerful statements made through Scarlett’s artistic expression.

girl
I drew this picture because I was feeling broken inside. On the outside I shared a smile to make people and myself believe I was happy. But inside I felt broken and lost.

Bird

This drawing is symbolic of being trapped in a controlled relationship and finally being set free after taking action to get up and leave.

skull

Throughout my life I have felt empty inside so I draw flames and skulls a lot to express that feeling.

Rose

A beautiful rose(soul) being overtaken by thorns(of life).

heart hands
In a relationship I was in, he was in a different state and we video chatted each other and each of us had their hand as part of a heart so I drew them together.

wave

NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS VERSION:  In a relationship I was in, he was in a different state and we video chatted each other and each of us had their hand as part of a heart so I drew them together.

Help Me
All of these emotions build up inside
making me feel like I want to die.
Though people are all around me,
I still feel alone
is it too much to ask for
I just want a home.
I try to make people think my life is going great
but everyone knows I’d like to escape.
Someone please find me and lead the way
I’ve been left all alone and I’ve gone astray.
So save your prayers don’t waste them on me
because I’m so cruel and so lonely.
In the darkness I feel at home;
the only thing to fear is being alone.

 

 

 

Foster Leaders Weekly Update – 1/29/2018

 

 

UNITED STATES

This article illustrated quite well why we see some of the negative adult outcomes we see from foster youth.  These outcomes are often presented in a way that dismisses the root of the outcomes and places most, if not all, the blame on foster youth for their outcomes.  Some of the key points from this article is that young adults leave foster care without adequate awareness of the resources that are available for them, and there are wait lists that are up to months and even years for the resources of which they are aware.  Understanding this, we must do a better job of nurturing the inherent ability of many foster youth of finding ways to make things work when there are few available resources (industriousness), instead of focusing so much on rigid curriculums that direct foster youth to overburdened, often state-sponsored resources as they are navigating life after foster care.
Link: http://wwmt.com/news/local/foster-care-youth-struggle-to-find-housing-after-aging-out-of-system

There is a new film, called “Night Comes On,” that showcases the transition for those leaving the juvenile justice system around the age of 18 and the contrast that could potentially exist between the lives of biological children and foster children who live in the same home. Please click the link for a review of the film.
Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt7184124/

Katie’s experience in the foster care system along with Mia and Robert’s passion for children and education led them to collaborate with Together We Rise to help make a difference in the lives of foster youth. Their goal is to help send foster youth to college and we need your help to raise $5,000 in 90 days!  There is under 25 days left to help with this challenge

Link: https://www.togetherwerise.org/fundraise/m_r_k

ALABAMA

Ozark CollegeShared by Melani

CALIFORNIA

ifosterjobsifosterjobs2Shared by Andre

COLORADO
Story of former foster youth and University of Colorado Women’s Basketball Player, Janea Bunn
Link: https://www.thedenverchannel.com/sports/from-foster-care-to-division-i-athlete-cus-forward-janea-bunn-hopes-to-inspire-others

CONNECTICUT
At the Meriden Provider Network, Stacey from MW Chrysalis announced that they have funding for security deposits and first month’s rent for DV clients. The client must be employed. The funding is time limited, so they want to use it quickly. If you have any questions, call Stacey or Linsey at (860) 630-1638.
Link: https://mwchrysalis.org/

OHIO
The Pratt Center – Fostering Success and Leadership is designed to provide academic support services, personal and professional development activities for CSU students who have exited foster care and are pursuing a Bachelor’s degree.  Special attention through customized services will be given to the unique needs of foster care alumni enrolled at CSU as freshmen, transfer students from an accredited institution or returning students who previously stopped – out or dropped – out of college before earning a Bachelor’s degree.
Link: http://www.csuohio.edu/engagement/fostering-success-and-leadership-programs

Academy of Craft Training – Birmingham, AL

*****PLEASE COMMENT ON THIS POST IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS RESOURCE*****

The Academy of Craft Training is a public/private partnership between the construction industry and the State of Alabama’s K-12 education system. Our mission is to recruit, educate and guide high school students for educational and employment opportunities in the construction industry. Approximately 30 percent of students graduate from high school don’t attend college and have neither academic nor job skills. Our goal is to help these students get the education and skills they need to be entry-level, skilled workers in the construction industry.
Link: http://academyofcrafttraining.org/

Foster Leaders Weekly Update – 1/7/2018


Our Foster Leaders Weekly Update platform is designed to share notable information that we come across in our networking efforts. The information we share is meant to benefit those transitioning from foster care to a sustainable adulthood and those who are in the position to guide them. We purposely focus our information sharing on the 3 core concepts that guide Foster Leaders:

WE FOSTER CONNECTION through information that promotes the growth of a local and a national support network for those transitioning out of foster care.

WE FOSTER LEARNING through sharing opportunities to practice skills that are important in foster youth achieving the personal leadership goals.

WE FOSTER LEADERS by promoting former foster youth who are serving their communities, pursuing their career goals, and participating in other leadership roles in their respective communities.

In an effort to alleviate some of the information overload that is encountered by many of those who are involved with foster care at some level, we sort our updates by geographic location. Moreover, all information that benefits those in only one state is sorted by that particular state and all information that benefits those in more than one state is sorted under “NATIONWIDE.”

Please comment on this post if you would like to share a resource, event, news article, or other piece of information that is beneficial to those transitioning out of foster care or those who are guiding them through their transition.


 

NOTABLE UPDATES

NATIONAL

Guide to Tuition Assistance Programs for foster youth in all 50 states
Link: https://www.ecs.org/state-level-tuition-assistance-programs-for-foster-youth-in-postsecondary-education/

ALABAMA

This is a neat resource I came across this past week.  The Academy of Craft Training is a public/private partnership between the construction industry and the State of Alabama’s K-12 education system. Our mission is to recruit, educate and guide high school students for educational and employment opportunities in the construction industry. Approximately 30 percent of students graduate from high school don’t attend college and have neither academic nor job skills. Our goal is to help these students get the education and skills they need to be entry-level, skilled workers in the construction industry.
Link: http://academyofcrafttraining.org/

MISSOURI

Have come across many articles saying that the Missouri Governor’s wife, Sheena Greitens, is heavily focused on foster care.  Is there a way we can connect with her and be a resource for her?

NEW YORK

For high school students involved in the child welfare system, The Foundling’s Road to Success Program matches teens with a private tutor, who helps them in all areas of school and classwork at the locations and times that work best for the student. Tutors then guide their students through the college application process.
Link: https://www.nyfoundling.org/blog/changing-education-outcomes-foster-youth-look-2017/

OHIO

Fostering Further has created a store where young adults who have aged out of the foster care system around Licking County can get free supplies for their new home, whether it be a college dorm room or an apartment. The store has kitchen supplies, lamps, small furniture, personal care items and nonperishable food.
Link: http://www.newarkadvocate.com/story/news/local/2018/01/05/group-helps-foster-care-youth-they-start-their-own/931975001/

TEXAS

TruLight 127 was started by a former foster youth, named Sondra Ajasin and is dedicated to making sure youth do not have to age out of foster care.
Link: http://www.trulight127.org/

WASHINGTON

Former foster youth who is a Washington State Representative.  Her name is Rep. Michelle Caldier and she sponsored House Bill 1444 that requires  school districts to facilitate on-time grade-level progression and graduation for homeless, foster and other at-risk youth. Local graduation requirements will now be waived for students who enroll in three or more districts throughout the year and still meet state graduation requirements. Instead of being shown the door, thousands of students will instead be handed a diploma.
Link: http://houserepublicans.wa.gov/2018/01/01/helping-homeless-foster-youth-graduate/

HOW TO GET INVOLVED TODAY

– Former Foster Youth Can Get Involved by Defining Leadership.  Click Here to Participate.