10 Reasons to Have a Mentor

10 Reasons to Have a Mentor by Julia Neiman

– Perspective and Experience
– Help You Think Outside the Box
– Define and Reach Long-Term Goals
– Accountability
– Trusted Person to Discuss Ideas and Issues With
– Have a Champion or an Ally
– Expanded Contacts and Networks
– Open Doors
– To Inspire You
– Work Better



Leadership Profile: Anne from Highland County, Ohio

Anne Phillips

Location: Highland County, OH
Number of Years in Foster Care: 6 Years
Interests:  Giving advice to others when they ask, arts and crafts, taking care of animals. I volunteer at the church I attend. I’m involved in the activities that occur at the state lake I live near.

Definition of Leadership: Role models that have the experience and skills to guide and lead those that are unsure what to do or where to take the next step.


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: Venasta from Duval County, Florida

Venasta Thomas

Location: Duval County, FL
Number of Years in Foster Care: 11 Years
Interests: I’m involved with checking on foster care children to make sure their placement is a safe and well cared for environment. I am interested in maintaining a honest rapport and good relationship with the children I am assigned to. I also would like to see foster youths have a well grounded financial understanding/ budgets, with money. I have my bachelor’s degree in accounting and always willing to share wise financial spending concepts when dealing with a different income due to job status or health issues.

Definition of Leadership: A person who can be honest enough to share and listen to another person’s ideas in subjects that are important for their journey in life which leads then to ultimately living a productive life as responsible, accountable and caring individuals.


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 – 4/8/2018

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.





Vincent Male



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

Leadership Profile: Shailiegh from Shawnee County, Kansas


Location: Shawnee County, KS
Number of Years in Foster Care: 5 Years
Interests: I am currently part of a Foster/Adopt ministry with my church, I am an alumni of the Kansas Youth Advisory Council. I have spoken and continue to speak at conferences, meetings, and on panels about foster care and my experience, etc.

Definition of Leadership: My definition of leadership is voicing and advocating for those who won’t or can’t positively. To be there for someone know matter the circumstance and delegate the resources known.

Goals: I am currently pursuing my MSW.


Leadership Profile: Vincent from Greene County, Ohio

Vincent Male

Location: Greene County, OH
Number of Years in Foster Care: 11 Months
Interests: I love playing video games, going bike riding, hiking, watching anime and movies, and a lot of other things indoors and out. Around my community I don’t do as much as I would like to, though i do support the local Girl Scouts of America and Boy Scouts of America. 

Definition of Leadership: My definition of leadership is helping others overcome their struggles, leading them down a path that they have laid out, and have chosen, and not telling them that a certain way is right. Allowing followers and peers the opportunity for growth at all times, teaching everyone what it is to help and support those around you without just giving them the answer.

Goals: I am planning on going back to school soon and figuring out what I would like to do as a career.


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. **


Brittany from Fulton County, Georgia
Brittany Myers 2


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?

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.




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 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


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


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




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.

Leadership Profile: Brittany from Fulton County, Georgia

Brittany Myers 2

Location: Fulton County, GA
Number of Years in Foster Care: 3 Years
Interests: My interests are reading, writing and motivating others. 

Definition of Leadership: Leadership is the ability to serve others with humility and passion.

Goals: My community service goal is to be the voice of suicide awareness. My professional goals are to become a well-known Speaker and Author. My books and speeches would focus on love and healing.

Read about Brittany’s Speech at Youth Thrive™ Learning Community Meeting in Clearwater, Florida