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18 August 2017

July Newsletter

Headlines:

  • A Note From Our Interim Executive Director
  • The Leadership Corps Takes Action in the Mid-West
  • DCFS Acting Director Visits NFYI
  • NFYI Salutes Kinship Caregivers
  • Youth Highlights

 

A Note From Our Interim Executive Director

With all the racial unrest in the country I am so grateful that NFYI has such a diverse , committed, socially conscious group of young adults who are focused on the important work of changing child welfare in this country.  We must not be distracted by the antics and threats of those who want to return to a way of life that has already been disavowed.  We push forward with our vision to the kind of world and society that has always been a part of our founding values.

NFYI has made some terrific strides this summer and continues to expand its network and embrace those who have been recruited.  We made our first foray into the midwest and reconnected with youth from past Shadow Days to begin the real work of organizing our next group of Leadership Corps activists. Our Leadership Corps here in Los Angeles is moving into the next phase of development and coming together as an organized, effective group that will take aim at the issues we are finding here in our own community.  

As the summer draws to a close, we have much to be proud of and are grateful for our NFYI family.  We won’t be deterred by those who have malice in their hearts and we will continue to press on with love for all. 

The Leadership Corps Take Action in the Mid-West

Top left: Congressman Danny Davis and Brittney Barros, top right: the Mid-West MBI, bottom left: Ernesto-Yanes Arnold, Ruth Arnold, George Garcia, Deitrick Foley, bottom right: Jameshia Shepher and Jameelah Love.

The inaugural NFYI Leadership Corps Movement Building Intensive brought 30 current and former foster youth, from seven mid-western states together for a three – day, intensive retreat. The young leaders cultivated and strengthened relationships, learned about the power of community organizing from other youth who are doing this work, and developed an organizing plan of their own to build and grow a movement for foster youth and families across the Mid- w est. 

Congressman Danny Davis, of the 7th Congressional District of Illinois, spoke words of wisdom as he joined us to commence the program. Members of the Los Angeles Leadership Corps shared their organizing experience and answered many questions regarding what it takes to build momentum for this movement. The following day, Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at L o yola Marymount University, Dr. Chery l Grills presented us with findings – to – date on NFYI’s Transition – Age Youth Survey.

DCFS Acting Director Visits NFYI

LA Leadership Corps and Acting DCFS Director, Brandon Nichols.

Last month  the Los Angeles Leadership Corps received the grand opportunity to engage with the DCFS Acting Director, Brandon Nichols. The conversation was centered around the implementation of Proposition HHH ( ” help house the homeless ” ), how to get a foster – care – to – education pipeline in place, and many issues relevant to transition – age foster youth. Mr. Nichols also offered his opinions on what DCFS can do to work more efficiently. This was an exceptional beginning to a n on-going working relationship with DCFS leadership ; NFYI looks forward to con tinuing interaction with DCFS in regularly scheduled meetings, which include the entire foster care community .

NFYI Salutes Kinship Caregivers

Left: Richard. Top right: Nico’Lee Rohac, Olivia Chase, Jaia Lent, and La Mikia Castillo. Bottom right: Demontea Thomas, Representative Tom Marino, Jameshia Shepherd, Jameelah Love, Tiffany Boyd, Nico’Lee Rohac, and Representative Karen Bass.

We had a fruitful discussion last month at our dinner titled “Kinship Caregivers: The power of grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives who become caregivers for children in the child welfare system.” We heard from foster youth, a grandparent and an advocate about the important role that kinship caregivers can play when they are given the opportunity to care for their young relatives in foster care.
We had a fruitful discussion last month at our dinner titled “Kinship Caregivers: The power of grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives who become caregivers for children in the child welfare system.” We heard from foster youth, a grandparent and an advocate about the important role that kinship caregivers can play when they are given the opportunity to care for their young relatives in foster care.

Youth Highlights

 

Jermaine Ferguson
State: Ohio
Years in Care: 5

We met Jermaine this year at the annual Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program. He has his hands in many projects related to advocacy, one of them being, “Bare Necessities”. Bare Necessities is a program that occurs once a month for foster care youth ages 14+. The youth receive hands-on cooking instructions, combined with additional life skills information, to prepare them for their future.
To learn more about Bare Necessities, visit: facebook.com/thefergusonfoundation.org

 

 

Shari Walker
State: California
Years in Care: 4

The lovely Shari Walker has been a foster youth advocate for many years in the Los Angeles area. She also attended Shadow Day in Washington DC this year and is a powerful voice in the  LA Leadership Corps.  Shari earned her Bachelor ‘s degree from Cal State Northridge University and has been accepted to matriculate at USC this fall for her Master ‘s in Social Work. Congratulations, Ms. Walker!  

 

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