Leadership Profile: Charles from Monroe County, Pennsylvania

Charles Stecker

Location: Monroe County, PA
Number of Years in Foster Care: 10 Years
Interests: My only interests are interactive intervention and proactive prevention of childhood abuses utilizing reform of the original child welfare system… Family.

Definition of Leadership: Leadership is the ability to inspire, motivate and empower a group of individuals towards a common goal with a servants heart.



Foster Leaders Weekly Update – 2/3/2018

**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. **


Dissertation – Aging Out of Foster Care: The Experiences of Former Foster Youth Who Successfully Navigated this Transition by Margot Hedenstrom.  Themes of this dissertation were: “1) ‘Facing a transition’ which had three sub themes of ‘abrupt transition,’ ‘smooth but uneven transition,’ and ‘smooth transition;’ 2) ‘Depending on adults for help’ which had two sub themes of ‘receiving support’ and ‘asking for support;’ 3) ‘Making a difference for others; and 4) ‘Moving forward with my life.”
Link: https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1040&context=nursing_diss

An update on research relating to the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
Link: https://www.urban.org/research/publication/planning-next-generation-evaluation-agenda-john-h-chafee-foster-care-independence-program/view/full_report

The Chronicle of Social Change posted an article that highlights a white paper distributed by the Urban Alliance, outlining recommendations on connecting high school students to employment opportunities.  Some of the notes that the “Chronicle” mentions a couple of points that drive our work.  One of those points is that even though high school graduation and college achievement are very important, ““that narrow focus on high school graduation and college enrollment as markers of success discounts other valid, longer-term connections.”  Another point is that employers are suffering the consequences of not engaging with the incoming workforce in their high school years where many are being shaped the most.


Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) and the National Homebuyers Fund (NHF) are sponsoring the “1 Laptop Program for Foster Youth,” which is an iFoster initiative that will provide over 1,000 local foster youth between the ages of 16 and 21 with laptops.

heart 2 heart solano
Learn more about Heart 2 Heart at www.heart2heartsolanocounty.com.

EAH Housing will turn properties that have been vacant for years into apartments in Morgan Hill.  Six of the apartments will be reserved for those who are aging out of care.
Link: http://www.morganhilltimes.com/news/scattered-apartment-project-offers-affordable-units/article_8e1ce22c-0773-11e8-b798-ebe2ed14bf7a.html

The Guitars for Vets and Foster Youth Project is a project in Bakersfield that provides a music appreciation class at no charge.  This class will begin at the end of February and will be completed in June.  Those who graduate from the program will receive free guitars.
Link: https://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/vets-foster-youth-come-together-to-play-guitar

Financial services firm, QuickBridge, partnered with local nonprofits to facilitate a 3-day internship program for 3 CSUF Guardian Scholar students.  The students were awarded with $1,000 scholarships and received mentoring in credit, sales, and accounting.  They also participated in resume building workshops, networking sessions, and mock interviews.
Link: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180201005908/en/QuickBridge-Collaboration-OC-United-Sponsors-Three-Day-Internship


Essay from former foster youth, Anthony Simpson, on educational challenges facing foster youth in Philadelphia.
Link: https://whyy.org/articles/navigating-public-education-foster-youth-bumpy-road/


Susie Black Holamon, who is a former foster youth from Dallas, has served as an advocate for foster youth in around 19 counties.  She is working on establishing a girls ranch for girls, ages 12-17, from the Texas foster care system.
Link: http://www.kxii.com/content/news/First-ranch-style-foster-care–471839723.html


Shante Dundee is a 21 year old former foster youth from Virginia.  She works at Virginia Kids Belong, which is dedicated to those transitioning out of foster care like herself.
Link: http://wtvr.com/2018/01/31/watch-richmond-moms-epic-surprise/


AB777 is a state bill that would waive tuition and other fees to foster youth who attend schools in the University of Wisconsin system and state technical schools.


Foster Leaders is dedicated to promoting the leadership potential of the foster youth community.  Instead of providing direct services or managing programs, Foster Leaders focuses 100% of its time networking with those navigating life after foster care and those who are in the position to guide them through this transition.  We compile useful information learned from our networking efforts into weekly updates.  The updates are centered around 3 core concepts, which we have found to be key factors in foster youth successfully transitioning out of foster care.  CONNECTION through updates that promote the growth of a positive support network around those transitioning out of care, LEARNING through updates that promote hands-on training opportunities, and LEADERSHIP through updates that showcase the leadership efforts of the foster youth community.

As weekly updates are posted, we archive them by state and present them in a categorized format.  Please look for the list of states on this page, and choose the state for which you would like to browse archived information.  More states will be coming soon!