SUTHERLIN — Garrett Hoppe of Sutherlin joined about 100 foster youth from around the country from May 23 to 25 who participated in the Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program in Washington, D.C.
Hoppe participated in three days of education, advocacy and relationship building with a goal of improving and strengthening the child welfare system across the United States.
He was selected to participate in the Shadow Program from a pool of about 400 applicants.
While in the nation’s capitol, Hoppe met with Peter DeFazio to share his personal story in foster care, and to discuss ways to improve the child welfare system in Oregon.
He also participated in a special White House event where he heard from administration leaders on why advocacy by foster youth on the local, state and national levels is critical to affecting the decisions made by elected Officials and policy leaders on their behalf.
“It is an honor to be selected to represent Oregon at the Shadow Program this year and to share my story of what it was like growing up in foster care,” Hoppe said. “The way we change the system for the better is to let our elected officials know that we have solutions on how to make things better for millions of foster youth across the country.”
The Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program is an annual program sponsored by the National Foster Youth Institute, FosterClub, the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, Foster Care Alumni of America, Casey Family Programs, Foster Youth in Action, and Youth Villages.
“Our voices and our stories matter, and I’m excited to share my experience in Washington, D.C.,” Hoppe said.
For more information on the Shadow Program visit fosteryouthcaucus-karenbass.house.gov.