Friday, April 30, 2010

Governor's Steering Committee on Transitional Youth and Young Adults

During 2010, Ohio YAB President Alex McLemore, former President Adrian McLemore, and adult supporters Mark Mecum, Doris Edelmann and Lisa Dickson participated in the Ohio Family and Children First Youth and Young Adults in Transition Steering Committee.

The committee was convened by Governor Strickland to recommend alignment and consolidation of policies, efforts, and resources and to identify major gaps for this particularly vulnerable and often overlooked population: vulnerable youth and young adults, ages 14-25.

After months of meetings, the committee has released its final report to the Ohio Family and Children First Cabinet Council.  The report may accessed here.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

National Advocacy Opportunities

Regarding the upcoming reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Ohio foster care youth and alumni are invited to write letters to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, regarding the need to support the specific needs of foster care youth.
Template that Ohio youth/alumni can use, and personalize with their own insights/experiences:

The Honorable Tom Harkin
Chairman, HELP Committee
428 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mike Enzi
Ranking Member, HELP Committee
428 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Enzi,

We are writing you on behalf of (your county youth advisory board), a youth-led organization of foster care youth, to request that foster care specific concerns be addressed in the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

As foster care youth, we have experienced educational challenges.  (Insert specific experience, such as changing schools in the middle of the year, having different textbooks and losing credits, etc. For statistics, you can use some of the stats listed on the Changing the Odds wiki).

There are specific steps that can be included in the reauthorization of the ESEA that would improve the educational experiences and outcomes for youth in and from foster care. (Make your suggestions)

Sign on behalf of the officers of your county youth advisory board: 
Name of Officer
Office Held
Name of Board

Friday, April 16, 2010

Save the Date: May 22, 2010

Message from the Purple Project:

The Purple Project, would like to invite your agency and teens in care, to attend “Finishing The Journey,” Aging  Out of Today’s Foster Care System, a youth conference in Cleveland, Ohio  May 22, 2010. This is a  great opportunity for teens!  

Guest Speakers will include Emmy award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Legend Darryl “DMC” McDaniels from the pioneer group RUN DMC, County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones, and Philanthropist-Foster Care Alumni and Advocates Tanya Cooper and Tanisha Cunningham

Please contact the Purple Project at (216) 269-6667, email or visit us at if you have any questions or need assistance registering.  

Thanks, and we hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

2010 Ohio YAB Officers

President Alex McFarland, Montgomery County

Vice President Cieria Rodriguez-Toney, Lorain County

Treasurer Krystal Robinson, Lorain County

Secretary Chasstity Young, Athens County

Media Spokesperson - TBA

Parliamentarian - TBA

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