Leadership Profile: Kathy from Sacramento County, California

Kathy Jones

Location: Sacramento County, CA
Number of Years in Foster Care: 5 years
Interests: My interests are being an advocate for current and former foster youth, the abused, animals and people of faith.  I also enjoy mentoring others who have requested help in writing a book, as I have experience being an author. I have several hobbies, a few of which are boating, reading, writing, and playing guitar and piano.

Definition of Leadership: A person who demonstrates a clear vision and focus on the mission, is a strategic planner and believes in teamwork. Great leaders help others reach their goals, make it a priority to listen to their team members and take pride in each team member’s accomplishments. A great leader is one who demonstrates integrity, courage and humility. They are flexible and embrace the inevitable changes their organization/business will face. A good leader is one who earns the respect of their team.

Goals: I would like to see many policy changes concerning foster care, especially for youth aging out and those aged 26 and above who no longer have federal or state aid options available to help them with housing and other basic needs.

 

 

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Foster Leaders Weekly Updates – 4/22/2018

Our weekly updates meetings are virtual meetings, which allows us to connect with our representatives and our supporters around the United States and beyond.    The last meeting was held on Sunday, April 29th.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO THE PODCAST OF THE LAST MEETING

WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST FOSTER LEADERS

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UPCOMING EVENT: APRIL 29th – Online Screening and Virtual Panel Discussion of “For a Better Life” by Foster Care Film

NATIONAL (USA): Former Foster Youth, Sharane Calister, in the Top 12 on “The Voice.”

NATIONAL (USA): Former Foster Youth, Marcio Donaldson, in the Top 14 on “American Idol.”

NATIONWIDE (USA): Former Foster Youth, Justin Willis, UFC Fighter
Link: https://www.flocombat.com/articles/6180500-from-23-foster-homes-to-ufc-gold-justin-willis-ready-for-anything

CA: “21 and Done,” New Documentary About Aging-Out of Foster Care Playing at Film Festival in Los Angeles on April 29
Link: https://www.eurweb.com/2018/04/films-with-a-purpose-to-premiere-harrowing-documentary-on-aging-out-of-the-foster-care-system/

CA: LA Kitchen providing Employment Opportunities for Foster Youth
Link: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/featured/nourishment-scarce-in-foster-home-plentiful-at-la-kitchen

We are proud to announce our Former Foster Youth Workgroups.  Our workgroups are designed to bring former foster youth together to brainstorm solutions and ideas to current issues and events related to the foster care community.  At this point in time, we only have one workgroup with is coming together to discuss the developments of the Riverbend Center.  It seems like a great project.  We do have one issue that we are discussing, which is related to how the Riverbend Center is being portrayed in the media.  If you are interested in being a part of this group, please click here.

Foster Leaders Weekly Updates – 4/17/2018

Our weekly updates meetings are virtual meetings, which allows us to connect with our representatives and our supporters around the United States and beyond.  If you would like to share any information that is beneficial to those transitioning out of foster care or those who are guiding them through this transition, please comment on this post and your information may be discussed during the meeting.

Please listen to our meeting podcast at:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/fosterleadersus/2018/04/18/foster-leaders-weekly-update–4172018

 

WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST FOSTER LEADERS

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UPCOMING EVENT: APRIL 29th – Online Screening and Virtual Panel Discussion of “For a Better Life” by Foster Care Film

CA – FORMER FOSTER YOUTH SHARE INSIGHT WITH FOSTER PARENTS AND SOCIAL WORKERS
SOURCE: http://www.cbs8.com/clip/14275450/adopt-8-former-foster-youth-provide-unique-insight-into-the-system

NE – RESOURCE SPOTLIGHT
HomeStart is a collective effort between the Junior League of Lincoln and HUB Central Access Point for Young Adults to create HomeStart, which provides home essentials for young adults as they transition out of care.  These home essentials, like bedding and hygiene items, are provided at no charge.
Source: http://www.klkntv.com/story/37906869/local-non-profit-donates-household-supplies-to-youth-in-need

NY – EVENT PROCEEDS HELPING FOSTER YOUTH GO TO CAMP FELIX

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WI – FORMER FOSTER SPOTLIGHT
Chance Cork recently won the Outstanding Undergraduate Returning Adult Student Award at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  After briefly attending college, Chance worked for 6 years and realized that he had an interest in Engineering.  Despite a learning disability, he has returned to college and has become a recognized student in the Materials Science and Engineering Program.
Source: https://news.wisc.edu/top-returning-adult-students-honored-for-perseverance-success/

NATIONAL (USA) – FORMER FOSTER SPOTLIGHT
On March 30th, 2018, Kaysie Getty launched her project called Sew Educated.  The goal of Sew EdUcated is to provide custom stoles to alumni of foster care graduating from college to celebrate their success and defying the odds. By wearing these stoles it will bring awareness not only to others around them but their universities as well. The vision is to “Change the less than to Greater”. Please click here to visit the Facebook page to learn more,

NATIONAL (USA) – FORMER FOSTER YOUTH MANAGING RESEARCH PROJECT
ANYONE with former foster care experience is invited to participate…the end goal is to further protect foster youth rights. My senior thesis, which is IRB approved, is focusing on Foster Youth’s Cultural Identity and It’s Impact on Social Well-Being. I found through my experience, the foster care bill of rights, and and academic literature that cultural identity is an often overlooked yet integral piece of well being especially in foster youth. Here is the link to participate: https://ucdavis.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_byMqgxUvFj3bddj

 

NATIONAL (USA) – FORMER FOSTER YOUTH, MARCIO DONALDSON, ON AMERICAN IDOL.  VOTING BEGINS ON APRIL 22.  PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP TO VOTE ON MARCIO.

NATIONAL (USA) – FORMER FOSTER YOUTH, SHARANE CALISTER, ON THE VOICE.

Most of our discussion will be over the foster youth college they are planning to establish in West Virginia.  Thomas Bailey, who is leading the planning of that project, is joining us to discuss some of the specifics and to address any questions/feedback that he is able to answer.
Link to article:
https://www.kvc.org/blog/first-college-for-youth-emerging-from-foster-care-gets-name-opening-date/

QUESTIONS/FEEDBACK ABOUT FOSTER YOUTH COLLEGE:

–  Cost to the Students

–  Cost to the Public

–  Admissions Criteria

–  Curriculum/Course Offerings (Academic/Trade)

–  Accreditation Information

–  What kind of Outreach to Foster Youth in High School

–  Any Plans for an Open House in the Future?

–  What Role Have Foster Youth Played in the Planning for this Project?

–  How will the College and Faculty/Staff Address Stigmas and Labeling?

–  Is Hiring Alumni from Care a Priority?

–  Will this Campus Provide Dormitory Living?

–  What Percentage of Students will be able to Live On-Campus?

– How is this an Improvement over Robust College Support Programs (like Guardian Scholars or Fostering Success Michigan) that Serve and Support Students Attending a Traditional College?

–  Are you all Partnering with Existing College Support Programs?

–  Are Students able to get their General Education and Transfer?

–  What Level of Training on Mental Health/Trauma-Informed Care will Staff Have

–  Is there a Goal or Openness to Have a Campus Like this in other States in the Future?

–  Will there be Distance-Learning Opportunities?

–  Are they Currently Hiring? – Kathy Jones

– Would those who had Failed Adoptions or those Adopted at a Late age be able to Attend?

–  There’s Something about that which makes it seem less legit, less Accredited. Why not Riverbend College or Riverbend University?  Is this Meant to be a Trade-School Only?

– How will this College Play a Role in Integrating those from Foster Care into the General Population?

– How will the young people there maintain connections with their home communities?

– What will the transition from home to campus look like? And then from campus to home?

– What provisions will be made for youth who don’t like it there?

Leadership Profile: Rodney from Orange County, California

Rodney Sims

Location: Orange County, CA
Number of Years in Foster Care: 17 Years
Interests:  Proud Father, Martial artist, Comic Book artist, fitness and well-being coach, health care provider, Proud husband and inspiration to enduring children and my fellow Man.

Definition of Leadership: Defying all odds known to Man, Making a positive impact on those who wrongfully endure, Inspiring hope in the hearts of the hopeless,

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

rodneysims.jpg

It’s in our nature to follow righteousness, but there will be times when darkness threatens the light we strive to hold on to.

Leadership Profile: Marcus from Sacramento County, California

Marcus Jones

Location: Sacramento County, CA
Number of Years in Foster Care: 5 Years
Interests:  I was in California Youth Connection back in 2004-2007 it taught me to be an advocate for the foster youth to know their rights while living in the foster care system. Also, California Youth Connection taught me to be a better leader for the foster youth because they need my help to help them to write the A.B. bill to California Governor to mandate training for foster parents.  I love to go to concerts to have fun to relieve stress. My hobby is writing because it helps me to get things off of my mind. I am a graduate of California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Advocacy and Diversity (Special Major). Now I am graduate of Walden University studying in Master of Science Criminal Justice Specialization in Law and Policy.

Definition of Leadership: My definition of leadership is to be an advocate for the foster youth who don’t have a voice.

Goals:  I am currently looking for job that allows me to promote advocacy and diversity safe space for former youth to be free from hate, sexual orientation, and diversity. 

 

Leadership Profile: Sonia from Alameda County, CA

Sonia Aldape

Location: Alameda County, CA
Number of Years in Foster Care: 4 Years
Interests: I am a clinical social worker committed to supporting people in their health and wellness goals. I love running, reading and hiking.

Definition of Leadership: My definition of leadership is to present and dedicate oneself in a manner that is admirable and respectable.

 

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.

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/

Foster Leaders Weekly Update – 3/18/2018

**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. **

findingmyway

Foster Leaders is partnering with Foster Care Film to screen their new short film, “For a Better Life.”  This screening will be available on our website at no charge for the first 15 people to sign up for the screening and to agree to participate in a panel discussion the night of the screening.  Please click here for more details.

Good Luck to Sharane Calister on The Voice

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FNBCTheVoice%2Fvideos%2F1727505137286828%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Good Luck to Marcio Donaldson on American Idol

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAmericanIdol%2Fvideos%2F10160313697605601%2F&show_text=0&width=476

MEET OUR NEW FOSTER LEADERS

Devin From Campbell County, VA
(Click Photo to Learn More about Devin)

Devin Hubert

If you are a former foster youth who would like to join the Foster Leaders Leadership Network, please click here.

VOICES OF FORMER FOSTER YOUTH

Alexei Ruiz discusses the issues facing foster youth as they seek one of life’s most basic needs, human connection.
Link: http://tucson.com/news/local/in-their-own-words-alexei-ruiz/youtube_17447897-415c-5995-bfc8-8754b97c3374.html

Donald Jayne discusses his experience being prescribed several medications and being proud of where you came from, even when life has been difficult.
Link: http://tucson.com/news/local/in-their-own-words-donald-jayne/youtube_91f05f99-9147-5c02-832d-6110da0d2ca9.html

NOTABLE INFORMATION

NATIONWIDE

FosterClub Transition Toolkit
Link: http://store.fosterclub.com/transition-toolkit-download/

6 Helpful Studies on Helping Foster Youth Navigate their Transitions from Foster Care
Link: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/archive/media/press/2016/national-youth-in-transition-data

CALIFORNIA

The Cal Coast Cares Foundation has announced it will award up to $35,000 in scholarships this year for college-bound high school seniors and current or former foster students in San Diego or Riverside counties.
Link: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/cal-coast-cares-foundation-announces-2018-scholarship-applications-high-school-seniors-and-foster


MICHIGAN

To apply or learn more about the Fostering Futures Scholarship, go to http://www.fosteringfutures-mi.com. Questions should be directed to Treasury’s Student Scholarships and Grants area at mistudentaid@michigan.gov or call toll-free at 1-888-4-GRANTS (888-447-2687).
Link: http://www.thealpenanews.com/news/local-news/2018/03/scholarship-available-for-foster-children/

VIRGINIA

Teens in Foster Care will Soon be able to Request Reunification with Birth Parents
Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/foster-care-teens-can-soon-ask-to-reunite-with-birth-parents/2018/03/13/4dda7e38-270b-11e8-a227-fd2b009466bc_story.html?utm_term=.a98bcdd112e9utm_term=.a98bcdd112e9

Foster Leaders Weekly Update – 3/11/2018

**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. **

LEADERSHIP ADVICE

10 Reasons to Have a Mentor by Julia Neiman (Please click to listen)

FEATURED ORGANIZATION

Transfiguring Adoption

NOTABLE UPDATES

NATIONAL

Collection of Literature on Promoting Higher Education
Link: https://news.illinoisstate.edu/2018/03/higher-education-resources-50/

Article on how Gifted Foster Youth are Often at Higher Risk of PTSD (Featuring Some Former Foster Youth who are becoming Leaders)
Link: https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/03/07/the-gifted-child-in-foster-care-lost.html

5 Ways States Can Improve Permanency for Teens in Foster Care
Link: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/research-related/report-five-ways-states-can-improve-permanency-teens-foster-care

CALIFORNIA

Samueli Academy is Planning to Establish an Educational/Housing Program for Foster Teens
Link: http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-wknd-et-samueli-academy-20180301-story.html

CONNECTICUT

A Group of Current and Former Foster Youth Influenced the Introduction of Senate Bill 323, which is an “Act Requiring Notice Prior to the Transfer of a Child to a New Out-of-Home Placement.”
Link: https://patch.com/connecticut/newlondon/senator-urges-support-bill-inspired-foster-care-youth