Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stark County YAB: Life After Foster Care

From the time of the Stark County youth advisory board’s inception, foster care youth involved in the board have expressed the desire to improve outcomes for young people "aging out" of foster care.

Stark County foster care youth have been recognized on a national basis:
2010 FosterClub All-Star, Jeremie Austin-Brown
2010 FosterClub Outstanding Young Leader, Rico Rushin

In 2011, the Stark County Youth Advisory Board sponsored a training called "Finding Your Way to Success: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty." This training was a five-week series, and 28 local foster care youth/young adults attended. This training was a huge success, and will be repeated in 2012.

Stark County foster care alumna Richard Rushin presented at a South Dakota conference of Reclaiming Youth International.

In 2012, the Stark County YAB has invested in:
  • Purchasing voice recorders so the youth can practice public speaking, and prepare for an upcoming speaking engagement in April: Presenting to 165 Children Services' workers at Stark County's Spring Staff Meeting.
  • Purchasing a laptop for the Board

In the words of Julie Hayslip, one of Stark County's adult supporters, "This is our most active excited board ever! Our youth not only meet on Fridays from 4-6pm but they have chosen to start meeting on their own every Monday at our local library!! They are working on business cards, they are putting together a brochure and writing a formal request to attend the NILA conference!

"They are planning on sponsoring a Life Book Training for the kids in custody. They have elected officers. They officially have a YAB room here at our agency and we are going to get furniture and wall art and even have a YAB logo they created that they want painted on the wall.

"They are also interested in starting a mentoring program for younger kids in care. This is on their To Do list!"

Representatives from the Stark County Youth Advisory Board were recently featured on a Channel 3 News story that discussed the struggles youth have when they emancipate.

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