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Friday, October 24, 2008

Foster Stories

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words....

This is even more true when that picture has been created and dramatized by Darrin Hoover.

To read more, please visit this link.

Four recent Ohio statewide events

The Ohio chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America shared support and insights at four recent Ohio statewide events focusing on the needs and concerns of young people aging out of foster care.

1.) On Aug. 10, 2008,
YEP hosted a statewide retreat for homeless youth . Because half of the youth in attendance had a history of foster care, Lisa Dickson led a breakout session focusing on resources and opportunities.

2.) On Aug. 19, 2008, during the statewide foster care rally "Success is a Choice," Lisa Dickson gave remarks about what policymakers and the community stakeholders can do support foster youth.

The keynote address was led by foster care alumni and motivational speaker Cedric Riley, sponsored by Franklin County Children Services and attracted an audience of over 150 youth, representing Athens, Hamilton, Franklin and Cuyahoga counties.

3.) On Sept. 18, 2008, during the youth track of the PCSAO annual conference, presenters included representatives from FosterClub and the National Campaign to Prevent Youth and Unwed Pregnancy.

The final workshop of the day was led by Misty Stenslie, Deputy Director of Foster Care Alumni of America, during which she shared about the Culture of Foster Care.

4.) On Oct. 3-4, 2008: Ohio's second annual statewide Independent Living Summit was led by OACCA and supported by youth advocacy organizations throughout the state.

The Ohio chapter of FCAA facilitated a one-room resource fair, including the Door to the Future and information about Job Corps, WIA, ETV funds and Dress for Success.

NILA Conference

The 2008 NILA Conference was a huge success!

The Dayton V.I.S.I.O.N. Board hosted and led pre-conference activities:

Lisa Dickson of Foster Care Alumni of America gave a keynote address, after which O.H.I.O. YAB President Adrian McLemore and members of the VISION Board shared “My Vision” T-shirts.

The second keynote of the conference was led by FCAA ally member and highly acclaimed national speaker Michael Sanders:

Opening the Door to the Future, Closing the Door to the Past

Do you see this tall slab of wood? It began as nothing more than an ordinary door. But it was transformed over a weekend into a vehicle for dreams.

The front of this door was decorated by young people in and from the Ohio foster care system with their hopes and dreams.

The theme for Ohio's second annual Independent Living Summit, hosted by OACCA, was: "Opening the Door to the Future."

Next month, during the FCAA Thanksgiving event, the theme will be: "Closing the Door to the Past."

The back of this door will be decorated by young people in and from foster care with symbols of things from our past which, as we move forward, we are going to leave behind.

For some people, this might be anger or bitterness. Others might try to save their biological family at the expense of themselves.

Sometimes we who have experienced foster care feel we are unworthy of love, because we weren't loved as children. We might remember negative predictions that other people have made about the future outcome of our lives, and foolishly measure ourselves based on other people's shortsighted estimations.

These are the kind of things we want to leave behind as we continue to move forward. And, we want to support one another and move forward together.

Many thanks goes to Home Depot to donating this door to the Ohio chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America.