Saturday, April 10, 2010

An Open Letter Dr. William C. Bell, CEO of Casey Family Programs

Dear Dr. William C. Bell,

We are writing you on behalf of the Ohio Youth Advisory Board (OHIO YAB), a youth-led
organization that exists to be the statewide voice for Ohio foster care youth, to ask Casey
Family Programs to offer scholarships for each of the 50 states so that two youth from
each state can attend the 2010 NILA “Growing Pains” conference.

Every year, foster care and emancipated youth throughout the nation looked forward to
the “It’s My Life” conference, formerly sponsored by Casey Family Programs. This
conference provided youth leadership and advocacy training, facilitated national
information-sharing regarding Best Practices, and contributed to building the national
network of foster care youth and alumni.

Now that “It's My Life” is on (permanent?) hiatus, the annual NILA “Growing Pains”
conference, sponsored by the Daniel Memorial Institute, is the primary national
conference that facilitates interaction between foster care youth, foster care alumni and
child welfare professionals each year. This conference is coordinated by Stephanie
Waugerman, (904) 296-1055 ext. 1013,

The 2010 NILA “Growing Pains” conference will take place from September 7-10, 2010 in
Washington D.C. Activities will include legislator visits with Congressional representatives
from across the nation, and an opportunity to meet with the Senate Caucus Committee on
Foster Care. Sponsoring two youth from every state to participate would allow 100
foster care youth an opportunity and a voice at our nation’s capital.

We welcome any questions you may have regarding this request.


Alex McFarland, President
Cieria Rodriguez-Toney, Vice President
Ohio Youth Advisory Board

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