Sunday, October 30, 2011

2011 Career and Entrepreneurship Event for Foster Care Youth and Alumni


Earlier this year, representatives from the Ohio Youth Advisory Board met with ODJFS Director Michael Colbert, and shared a vision with him...

This vision was for Ohio to hold a statewide event for current and former foster youth -- the primary purpose of which would be to connect young people with employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

As with every other issue that we have brought to ODJFS Director Colbert's attention so far, he took our request seriously and followed up on it.

Yesterday, Ohio's very first Career and Entrepreneurship Event for Foster Care Youth and Alumni was held...

  • Meeting Space was made possible due to the ODJFS funding allocation for the Ohio Youth Advisory Board.

The event included a Resume Clinic, staffed by professionals, and Suits for Success, freely available to participating youth...

At the end of the day, our most valuable feedback came -- of course -- from the youth themselves...


Rhonda Sciortino's Keynote ~ Quotes from Youth Evaluations:
  • “It was wonderful. I am SO glad she was able to come. It gave me a lot of insight, not only into my situation, but how to live my life.”
  • “I liked that Rhonda encouraged us – we need more of that”
  • “It was nice to be able to meet someone that was a foster child in the past, and that has a wonderful life.”
  • “This session was really helpful and inspirational to me cause it gave a lot more hope for my future and it showed me that you can do whatever you want, if you have the passion for it and put your mind into it.”
  • “Mrs. Sciortino taught me that no matter what anyone says to try and put me down and say that I can’t do it, that I’m the ONLY ONE who can change my life and succeed in my life.”
  • "Was really interested in what Rhonda was saying – it gave me hope that I could become something in life. LOVED IT”
One young person just wrote, on the evaluation form regarding Rhonda's presentation: "Thank you."


Overall Event ~ Quotes from Youth Evaluations:
  • “Worth the trip, thoroughly enjoyed it”
  • “It was wonderful. I really enjoyed it. I hope we can do it again, soon.”
  • “I loved it. This conference ROCKS! I hope we have another”
  • “I thought that it was all very helpful! And I think that all the information I got today will help me down the line.”
  • “Anything they said was helpful, if you just apply it to your life. A quote that always went through my head: ‘How to you live when you’re ruled by your past? But how do you forget a past that made you?”
  • “I enjoyed it, and it will help me in the future.”
  • “The event was a success in terms of the people I connected with.”
  • “The whole event was very professional, and organized by the way that everything was set up and put together, and I believe everyone who decided to have this event for us are really caring people who really cares about the youth and where they end up, and who they become. Thank you very much for inviting me.”
  • “I have really enjoyed the whole entire time I’ve been here. I appreciate every single person who taught me things that I didn’t know were possible”
  • “I’m glad I came today, because I learned a lot of stuff that will help me with a successful future.”
  • “I am really glad that I got to come up to Columbus; I am leaving with lots of new facts than when I came. I really think that all students need to do what I did today.”
  • “I really enjoyed it, even though I had to get up really early. I liked it.”
  • “I really enjoyed myself and really changed my perspective on jobs, life and success. Loved it!!!”

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Congratulations, 2012 Ohio Youth Advisory Board Officers


After our Halloween-themed October quarterly meeting, the Overcoming Hurdles in Ohio (O.H.I.O) Youth Advisory Board would like to welcome and congratulate 2012 Statewide Officers:

  • President Cieria Rodriguez-Toney, Lorain County 
  • Vice President Alexander McFarland, Montgomery County
  • Media Spokesperson Dauntea Sledge, Franklin County
  • Secretary Denae Haney, Athens County
  • Parliamentarian Autumn Kester, Portage County
  • Treasurer Terrell Howard, Cuyahoga County

ODJFS Director Michael Colbert: Champion of Ohio Foster Youth Transitioning Into Adulthood


The Ohio Youth Advisory Board and Ohio chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America deeply appreciate the thoroughness with which ODJFS Director Michael Colbert has followed up on concerns expressed by Ohio foster care youth regarding challenges faced during the time when they transition into adulthood.

Please visit the following links to read: