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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have worked with FosterClub for only a short period of time, compared to some people I know who have been involved longer. In my short time becoming familiar with the organization I had come to find out that FosterClub was not just another organization looking to exploit foster youth, but an organization actually trying to make a difference in the lives of foster youth throughout the entire country. By being a 2009 FosterClub All-Star I had the opportunity to go to conferences over the summer and work along side youth and present workshops to youth, to make them realize that they can help to make a change in the foster care system. Without FosterClub many of the youth in foster care would have no where to go to ask questions and get answers about foster care, many of the youth wouldn't even know that there is something they can do to make a difference. FosterClub is built by youth and powered by youth, the reason for this is because the founder of FosterClub realized that foster youth will be more open to talking, sharing stories and experiences, as well as learning things about foster care from other current or former foster youth, rather than adults who probably haven't been through half of the things these youth have. FosterClub is now my family, something I didn't have until I got involved with this organization. FosterClub is a stepping stone for any current or former foster youth to find resources to create their own family and a sense of permanence.
I have never been apart of any other non-profit organization that is as effective as FosterClub. FosterClub's strength lies in its ability to encourage and edify young people in foster care by teaching them the significance in their own voice so that they are able to speak for themselves. The life of a foster kid is very silent. We live our lives being told what to do and how to do it, daily. Case workers, social workers, judges, and foster parents rarely ask "us" what we think or how we feel about our neglected circumstance, where and who we want to live with, etc. We have little choice surrounding the direction of our lives while in the system and often feel like no one cares. I was once a silent foster kid until I discovered the power of my own voice when I got connected to FosterClub. FosterClub taught me how to advocate for myself. Because of them, I was able to teach other young people in foster care how to do the same for themselves, thus continuing the rich FosterClub tradition of using former/current foster youth to engage current foster youth. There is simply nothing more powerful than seeing a foster youth who has experienced similar life circumstances empower other foster youth to look beyond their unfortunate familial circumstances and reach for a better life that is not defined by the negativity that they have experienced with their biological families. I cannot think of any other non-profit organization that deserves this award more than FosterClub!