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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spotlight on FCAA Ohio Members: Rico Rushin

If you were to ask me to come up with one word to describe Riccardo (“Rico”) Rushin, that word would be Dedication: “The act of binding yourself to to specific course of action.”

After graduating from high school, and being publicly honored for his achievements (Duer, Benjamin. Area foster youths honored. Canton Repository, June 23, 2009), Rico remains determined to give back. He has returned to his high school, Glen Oak, several times for motivational speaking engagements, as well as Allen Elementary and Alliance Middle School, Walsch College, Malone College and Mount Vernon College.

Currently working toward his degree in social work, Rico has a clear and growing vision of how to improve outcomes for foster care youth, which includes specific guidelines regarding foster parent recruitment and training, mentoring of foster youth and transitional housing.

Rico dreams of one day having enough money to open an apartment complex for emancipating foster care youth. Residents will participate in independent living classes with on-site social workers, including Money Management and Study Habits.

From his experience in foster care, Rico has learned that people and living situations can be transient – which is why he is determined to be the kind of person that others can rely upon.

Rico wants to see youth in foster care paired with at least one mentor that will create a lasting bond, regardless of change in placement – and he wants to be that kind of mentor. He plans to build a family one day and provide structure and stability for his children.

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