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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Fosterclub

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Foster Care, Youth Development

Mission: FosterClub’s mission is to lead the efforts of young people in and from foster care to become connected, informed, inspired and represented so they can realize their personal potential and contribute to better outcomes for their peers.

Programs: Young leaders - young people with first-hand knowledge of the system is the foundation of the organization. We place young people at the table when important conversations are taking place that deserve foster youth perspective. In addition, we facilitate young leaders in speaking and public awareness roles that bring inspiration to child welfare professionals, foster parents and caregivers, courts, and other child welfare stakeholders.

policy & system change - fosterclub places young people in a position to impact the public policies that impact foster care and their own lives. Fosterclub captures the pulse of young people to influence broad-based system change in topics that matter to young people. Our public policy and practice recommendations are driven by authentic youth perspective.

membership & community - we build membership and community through our fosterclub. Com website, and through live outreach at events across the country. We encourage young people to engage with each other, ask questions, and gain peer support. The organization's primary communication vehicle, the website, is a hub of information relating to foster care, including articles, message boards, contests and stories. It's a resource available to youth 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Fosterclub's Spirit, Drive and Determation is what makes the Hope of youth keep going. their an excellent tool needed for youth,alumni,and professionals.

10

Board Member

Rating: 5

There is absolutely nothing bad to say about fosterclub!!! Not only does there website provide conection for foster youth all over the country its staff provides hope and knowledge of a better futur for youth in foster care!! This summer fosterclub came to Arkansas and helped our Youth Advisory Board put together the most amazing conference! Our conference was the first youth conference put together by youth and actually led by youth. Fosterclub led 2 workshops....foster-to-famoous.....fosterclub.com intro. They truly were a key factor in the success of our conference. Fosterclub taught me how to be a true leader. They provided training for myself and my fellow board members. And gave amazing suggestions. Life for youth in foster care has a positive future thanks to fosterclub. Their slogan "Built for Youth....Powered by Youth...Changing life for Youth in Foster Care" tells it all!!! Fosterclubs allstars are awsome, positive, and always willing to help! I say they diserve to win!!

12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My niece was is an all star this year. This organization is doing fabulous work with and for kids in care. I am so impressed with my nieces experience and how devoted she is to this improtant cause.

12

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was an all-star in 2009, and working with FosterClub has opened so many doors for me. Everyone who works at fosterclub is invested heart and soul in the system. Many times when I was in foster care I felt people only cared about me because they were paid to do so. With FosterClub, I never felt that way. Their staff are so conscious of the needs of youth like myself, and help shape us into becoming the kind of adults we wished for as kids. They are amazing and are helping make visible changes within the system.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was an All-Star in 2005 and continue to volunteer with this organization from time to time. The skills and experiences I have acquired have been invaluable. From my internship experiences in 2005 and 2008, I developed skills in establishing boundaries, leading groups and workshops, and speaking. Furthermore, my experiences with FosterClub helped me find my passion for reforming child welfare policy and practice. I am currently a MSW student at Columbia University studying social policy and management. FosterClub connected me to a new community of foster care alumni. Being connected is very crucial for foster care alumni after aging out. I don't believe I would be as goal-driven and successful as I am today without FosterClub. Please endorse FosterClub in an effort to advocate for the half million children in foster care.

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

This is a fine organization! Our former foster daughter (who is like our daughter now), became an AllStar, and learned so much. She knows how to speak to groups, lead workshops, and understand her journey. That AllStar experience is very valuable to her, and for that we are thankful to Foster Club. The leaders of Foster Club really helped her to learn and grow.

5

Former staff

Rating: 5

I am proud to say that I was a FosterClub Allstar in 2005. What impresses me is the Director and her resourcefulness and creativity. What she can do with a budget is incredibly impressive. In 2005 she had 2 staff and was operating a network with more than 2,000 recipients. Celeste provided foster youth with channels of communication and a peer support network when there was none. She helped empower them by providing documents and young adults who had been through the process to help them become more active in their case and in their life. She created the majority of the documents her self initially. These documents such as the Fyi3 binders were highly acclaimed and were the general revenue for FosterClub. Celeste's ideas are constantly amazing and typically implemented successfully. She is one of my biggest inspirations and I constantly use her as a role model. The internship change my life as it enhanced many of my skills- public speaking, facilitation, endurance, work ethic, listening, traveling. It also made me much more attractive to other non-profits and my career flourished as a result. Watching FosterClub grow has been amazing and they deserve support as they have always supported young people and modeled an ideal youth friendly non-profit.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

FosterClub is AMAZING! I work closely with young people and staff from FosterClub at least weekly, and I also proudly donate to FosterClub. Supporting this organization is an easy thing to do--their mission is incredibly important, their work is ALWAYS top-notch, and they are excellent stewards of their limited resources. I encourage everyone to support FosterClub. Young people in foster care need us to care for them, and to ensure we have excellent public policy and practice related to foster care. By supporting FosterClub, you are raising up the 800,000 children who live in foster care every year.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing amount of advocacy from such a small organization. They may be small but are widely respected in the foster care advocacy community. Wonderful organization.

8

Former staff

Rating: 5

I have seen people paralyzed by anxiety to such an extent that every life circumstance to be dealt with becomes tinged by a sort of melancholic awareness of the impermanence of things. The awareness by itself is not necessarily a bad thing except when there is no symbol of hope or rather awareness of a future good. It is my opinion that Fosterclub provides an indispensable service towards this end, particularly in the form of the Fosterclub All Stars. The All Stars, and indeed Fosterclub in general, give a silent permission to others to proceed with life rather than becoming paralyzed by the stark revelations brought on by a less than good childhood. The programs offered by Fosterclub are impressive but would amount to very little were it not for the ever caring and ever patient staff of the organization whose compassion appears to me to be beyond question. I have been a recipient of the love and infectious joy of those involved with Fosterclub for sometime and I grow more impressed each time I see a presentation delivered to a group of eager foster youth or when I see a youth having fun simply playing with an All Star.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

FosterClub has afforded me the opportunity, as a former foster youth to be the person, I now know, I was meant to be. As an attendee of one of their events in New York I saw in their interns what it meant to be a successful former foster youth. The organization's approach and passion for helping young people inspired and motivated me. As an intern for 2008 and 2009, the emotions only increased. Having the chance to work for them has demonstrated to me what it means to truly enjoy and care about the work one does. I can not express how instrumental to my life, both personal and professional this organizational has been

7

Former staff

Rating: 5

In 2005 I applied for FosterClub’s All-Star Program, an internship for former foster youth leaders who are chosen and trained to leverage their foster care experiences as expertise and to improve the system following a competitive selection process. As a young person who spent five years in New York’s foster care system, I found this experience with FosterClub challenging and life changing. Although I had often struggled because of my foster care experience, I learned that my story is powerful and effective as an agent for change. Today I am a MSW student at the University of Pennsylvania and believe my experience with FosterClub will allow me as a social worker to utilize my life story, struggles, and successes to be able to provide hope and inspiration for many youth in the same situation I once found myself.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I help FosterClub whenever I'm called upon. I know when I volunteer that every minute of my time is optimized, and that with FosterClub, no one's time and no one's money is ever wasted. I see it whenever I drop into their tiny office. The small staff seems to be working on 8 or 10 projects at a time. Every one seems determined to do as much as they can for foster kids -it's impressive to me that FosterClub hires former foster youth as much as possible. What's really amazing is how much is accomplished with such small financial and material resources and so much dedicated effort AND a lot of soul.

12

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I attended Teen Conferences around the country and advocated for underprivileged youth in the foster care system. I accomplished this by sharing my personal story to positively influence and better the lives of youth in foster care. I also presented various workshops that were designed to empower youth to reach higher, and this was made possible because Foster Club was able to bridge the gap between the youth and adult perspectives, which proved to be successful. In addition, I collaborated with my fellow 2009 Interns and Portland State University to create online training modules that would enable supportive adults to communicate effetely with foster youth on the most pressing issues like sexuality, education, and mental health. I really embraced this opportunity because it made me aware of the many challenges that face youth, and also empowered to know that I could make a difference in lives of youth. Although I greatly ameliorated from the internship program, I distinctly believe that some changes need to be made in order to ensure that the internship program maintains its eminence. I firmly hope the managerial aspect of the organization is revamped or at least looked at. I wholeheartedly hope that this constructive criticism is only able to enhance the organization, while also making it flourish even more. This organization deserves to be noted for its ability to reach youth in many unique ways; this is something that other youth organization envy.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

Fosterclub is one of the greatest things to ever happen to kids in care, it not only gives a way for foster care alumni to speak out for future generations of foster kids, it teachs current youth how to speak up for themselves

7

Former staff

Rating: 5

FosterClub is the only national network for the 513,000 foster youth currently in care. They gave me the once in a lifetime opportunity to share my story and inspire others that no matter what their current situation is, they have the ability to overcome it and be successful. They showed me how to represent other foster youth through my experience. I am proud to be one of the 12 all-stars selected per year to experience something that most will never get the chance to. I cam honestly say that FosterClub is the coolest non-profit organization ever.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the past 2 years I have had the pleasure of working with Foster Club. They have proven themselves as a knowledgeable, compassionate, and trustworthy organization who desires to seek creditable advocacy movements that produce the maximum benefits for youth and children in the foster care system. For all the things that they have done, will do and continue to do, I am proud to know this organization and both the members and staff of Foster Club.

5

Former staff

Rating: 5

Through the FosterClub AllStar Internship of 2005, I was introduced to a lifechanging world, lifestyle & group of people. That summer changed the way I saw "giving back" into something concrete and achievable. Since then, the organization has supported me financially, mentally and physically during my pursuit of my dreams. By far I'd say that FosterClub has been one of the most influential groups in my developmental process, and (simply) in my life. I am eternally grateful. As far as change that FC is making for youth: bundles. I continually encounter youth who've crossed paths with FosterClub in some way, and love the way they gush about the change they've made or experienced as a direct result of FosterClub.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with fosterclub haves been amazing. I only have been working with fosterclub since the Summer of 2009 as a fosterclub all-star. They taught me many different things i would need in the field that i am going into, how to advocate for youth more affectively and just how to communicate my needs as a foster youth. This is an organization that goes far and beyond to help youth on a national level.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had a deep passion and wanting to truly make a difference in the lives of youth for many years. I began to get involved in local agencies, but I began to hear a whisper about this amazing organization that was created specifically for the improvement of the foster care system through the eyes of the true experts of the system, the youth. This thing called FosterClub is a place where not only do youth truly get their voices heard, but things then actually happen, the plant grows from the seeds were are able to plant. This organization is youth driven, youth powered, and youth led. This is such a true statement, we as the young leaders determined the important factors needing attention and change, we chose what to learn about and work on, we visited Washington D.C. to speak face to face with the law makers of this country, we taught countless youth how to be resilient, how to keep ourselves safe when dealing with family, how to recognize the importance of permanence. FosterClub touches the hearts of so many youth, and adults, and foster parents, and concerned citizens. Of course, all this is what FosterClub allowed me to do, since the year of 2006 when i finally found out that all the whispers were true and this organization truly is amazing. I had been having several tragedies take place in my life, and thus I was aimless in my direction and lost in my own heart's anguish. I was in leadership positions in some local boards, but my heart was so filled with nothing that it was hard for me to help myself at the same time I was helping others. I was told that I should apply to become a FosterClub All Star. The state told me they would support me in this experience. I knew I needed an adventure, a chance to find myself, and to truly put a flame to the kindling of my passion. I was selected, and I was changed, and I was filled, and I found a small part of my purpose. I was able to learn so much from the thousands of youth I came into contact with, and the tens of thousands the twelve of us All Stars were able to help. I also developed very strong personal bonds with my fellow All Stars. Having been in a position due to foster care where I had people leave me and thus I was unable to truly open up, being around people with similar backgrounds allowed me to explore myself in depth. I grew socially, and professionally, and personally. This program quite literally must have been sent to change lives and give people identity. That is what FosterClub gave me, an identity. I am who I am, and I cannot see who I have become without FosterClub. And believe me, this isn't just me, I know of the fact that many of my fellow All Stars, both past and present, have had similar impacts in their lives. Of course, beyond what I have done and what FosterClub did for me, I have seen the impact of the messages we deliver, the hope this organization inspires in an under represented but highly resilient and intelligent population of this country that deserves so much more than what they have gotten. To know that a youth who before the impact of FosterClub felt as though they had no future and then after felt as though the stars are the very beginnings of what they can hold in their hands.