Monday, August 25, 2014

OHIO Youth Advisory Board ~ Officer Bootcamp

Youth participants did a wonderful job during the OHIO Youth Advisory Board's first Office Bootcamp.

Training topics included:
  1. Officer Professionalism
  2. Public Speaking 
  3. Effective Advocacy
Many thanks to Melinda Sykes Haggarty, Alex Gilbert, Julie Willis, Doris Edelmann, Lisa Dickson and Ann Bischoff for your role in helping to make this event a success.

OHIO YAB Officers in 2015

Acting President
Allissa Mitchell,  Stark County
Acting Vice President Violet Ramunni, Summit County
Media Spokesperson Michael Bolwaire, Cuyahoga County
Parliamentarian Samuel King, Franklin County
Treasurer Nathan Springs, Franklin County
Secretary Damahri Carter, Franklin County

*Violet will partner with Dominique Jefferson of Cuyahoga County

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Teening Up for Success Conference in NE Ohio

Northeast Ohio foster care youth and alumni greatly enjoyed participating in the Teening Up for Success conference, hosted by Stark and Lorain counties.

2014 July OHIO Youth Advisory Board Meeting

Congratulations to newly elected OHIO Youth officers during the July meeting. These officers will take office in January 2015.

Youth and Alumni Voice During the 2014 OFCA Conference

The Ohio Family Care Association hosts an annual statewide conference for resource parents, including foster, adoptive, kinship, respite and even some biological parents.

The Ohio chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America had the honor of facilitating the resource panel for foster parents. Panelists included three foster care youth, two foster care alumni and three organizational representatives from Ohio Reach, Capital Law School's Foster Youth Advocacy Clinic and the Ohio Benefit Bank.

The focus was on resources to support teens in foster care before and during their transition into young adulthood.

Youth and alumni did a wonderful job during the OFCA conference:

  • They presented themselves in a professional manner 
  • They were positive in the delivery of their message 
  • They were well-prepared, and the time they took to prepare led to their message being effective 
The ally presenters from Ohio Reach, Capital Law School and the Ohio Benefit Bank were knowledgeable and informative, and the resources they shared were relevant to the presentation, and well-received by the audience.

Foster parents were very receptive, and post-panel conversations were productive. Several foster parents expressed interest in taking youth in their care (ages 15+) to upcoming teen conferences.


Friday, June 13, 2014

SW Connecting the Dots Conference with Keynote Speaker, Antwone Fisher

Ohio foster care youth and alumni greatly enjoyed participating in the second annual SW Ohio Connecting the Dots conference in Dayton.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Foster care alumna Violet Ramunni in DC

On May 29, 2014, the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth held the third annual "Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day." Nearly 70 current and former foster youth from across the country gathered on Capitol Hill to shadow Members of Congress and advocate for changes to the child welfare system.

Ohio's very own Violet Ramunni, of the Summit County YAB in Ohio, was chosen to participate in Congressional Youth Shadow Day. She shadowed Congresswoman Marcia Fudge.


Foster care alumna Alexis Cook in DC

On April 8th, Alexis Cook traveled to Washington, D.C. with FosterClub. During her time in DC, she met with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Alexis attended his weekly coffee with constituents where she discussed the importance of providing services for young people in foster care once they turn 18 and “age out” of the system.

Alexis is currently involved in the Youth and Alumni Advisory Committee on Ending Homelessness. This group is made up of current and former foster youth ages 14-26 who serve to represent the voices of Youth and Alumni in Lighthouse Youth Services’ 16 month planning process to end youth homelessness in Cincinnati.

During the Kick Off of the Hamilton County youth council, Alexis was the first to arrive. She manned the registration desk and welcomed each young person as they arrived. Because Alexis had already received training in FCAA Ohio Purposeful Sharing back in 2010, she was able to answer questions from other youth about how to determine what was appropriate to share.

Two days after the Kick-off of the Youth and Alumni Advisory Committee on Ending Homelessness, Alexis helped present foster care youth and alumni recommendations and insights to the larger Steering Group for this initiative. She was interviewed by Clyde Grey of WCPO news about the need for additional transitional housing options for young people.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Three Days On the Hill ~ Legislative Visits, Day 3 and Sightseeing

During our final day in DC, we had one morning visit:

  • Senator Sherrod Brown's Constituent Coffee 

We spent the rest of day sightseeing, prior to our flights home.

Three Days On the Hill ~ Legislative Visits, Day 2

During our second day of legislative visits, we participated in the following meetings:
  • Senator Rob Portman's Constituent Coffee 
  • Representative Joyce Beatty (Franklin County) 
  • Legislative Assistant for Representative Jim Jordan (Huron County) 
  • Senator Rob Portman 
  • Legislative Assistant for Representative Bob Gibbs (Stark County)

2014 Three Days On the Hill ~ Legislative Visits, Day 1

During our first day of legislative visits, we met with:
  • Becky Shipp, Health Policy Advisor to the Senate Finance Committee 
  • Legislative Assistant Rebecca Kastan, U.S. Congressman Pat Tiberi's Office 
  • Representative Mike Turner (Montgomery County)
  • Legislative Assistant for Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (Cuyahoga County)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Three Days On the Hill ~ Training Day

During Three Days on the Hill 2014, our subject matter experts during training included:

  • Ruthie White, Executive Director of the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare
  • Todd Shenk, Senior Fellow from Casey Family Programs and Special Assistant to the Secretary's Senior Advisor for Housing and Services.
  • Matt Aronson, Program Specialist at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
We were also delighted that Bethany Koshinsky, FCAA Ohio member and one of the sponsors of this year's event, was available to help facilitate training.

Three Days On the Hill ~ Arrival and Icebreaker

We deeply appreciated Bethany Koshinsky's roommate, Angie Debendetti, and her willingness to take us on a grocery run after our arrival in DC.

Friday, March 28, 2014

OHIO YAB Presentation for ODJFS Meeting

OHIO Youth Advisory Board Parliamentarian Dorothy Dodson presented on behalf of the Board during a statewide meeeting on supporting the needs of transitional youth.

Legislative Briefing on Ohio Fostering Connections

OHIO Youth Advisory Board Present Allissa Mitchell spoke during Legislative Briefing on Ohio Fostering Connections.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ohio Fostering Connections ~ Kick Off

OHIO Youth Advisory Board President Allissa Mitchell recently participated in the kick off meeting of Ohio Fostering Connections -- and wound up being interviewed by the Columbus Dispatch.

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 OHIO YAB January Meeting

11:00 - 11:15 am   Welcome and Officer Updates: Reporting Out on the Officer Retreat
11:15 - Noon          Brainstorming: Participants separate into groups to share their insights
Noon - 1:00 pm     Lunch: Youth networking and announcements from ally organizations
1:00 - 1:30 pm       Youth report out on morning brainstorming
1:30 - 2:00 pm        New and Good, and Upcoming Opportunities

2014 OHIO YAB Officers Retreat

OHIO YAB Officers, pictured above:
  1. Media Spokesperson Charles Scott of Franklin County will take the lead on Education
  2. President Allissa Mitchell of Stark County will take the lead on Outreach and Policy
  3. Vice President Dominique Jefferson of Cuyahoga County will take the lead on Housing
  4. Parliamentarian Dorothy Dodson of Lorain County will take the lead on Youth Voice in Court
  5. Secretary Jessika Cowart of Lorain County will take the lead on Independent Living