Leadership Profile: Shelda from Tom Green County, Texas

Shelda

Location: Tom Green County, TX
Number of Years in Foster Care: 8 years
Interests: I am a wife and mother of two and much of my time revolves around my family. I enjoy going to the movies, musicals and theater performances. I enjoy listening to music and traveling back and forth from Texas to California where I am from.

Definition of Leadership: A leader is someone who accepts the challenge whether by circumstances, vote or appointment to show others how to accomplish a mission/goal/challenge while demonstrating team work, carelessness, long suffering, patience, morality and bravery never giving up and disappointing their team.

Goals: It is my desire to work with local foster agencies, CPS and CASA to create a support group for youth aging out of care. This county has a support group for parents. The county does not have a support system for youth. As a youth that emancipated from foster care and found it difficult to survive on my own, I have the desire to help others going through that process.

Links to Articles about Shelda:

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/a-frightened-little-girl-grows-up/article_4addb24b-1355-5426-a0d6-6da0b4cad571.html

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local-surrogate-shares-lessons-learned-from-two-very-different-experiences/article_c6f7c696-01bd-566f-be9a-ad24d4fe42e9.html

 

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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/

Leadership Profile: Jeremiah from Bell County, Texas

Jeremiah Salinas

Location: Bell County, TX
Number of Years in Foster Care: 14 Years
Interests: I represented foster children in the NASA Scholar program. I gave speeches in a few colleges, churches, and various states regarding foster care. I am in the army. I love to help people. My hobbies include sports, art, music and helping animals.

Definition of Leadership: Leadership is the ability to help other become successful and not to judge but help others learn from their mistakes.

Goals: My professional goal is just to be someone everyone can rely on.  My community goal is to help the less fortunate people and/or animals.

Please check back for more of Jeremiah’s Leadership interests.

 

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. **

NATIONAL

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.
Links:
https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/education/29765/29765
https://theurbanalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/UAWP0218.pdf

CALIFORNIA

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.
Link:
https://www.mymotherlode.com/news/local/346053/program-will-provide-laptop-computers-for-local-foster-youth.html

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

PENNSYLVANIA

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/

TEXAS

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

VIRGINIA

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/

WISCONSIN

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.
Links:
http://www.wral.com/bill-promises-wisconsin-foster-kids-free-college-tuition/17298039/
https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/proposals/ab777

ABOUT FOSTER LEADERS

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!

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.