Mockingbird Times - March, 2013
The rain poured, and the wind howled, but in the end an estimated 200 youth, young adults and allies from across Washington state came together in Olympia for Youth Advocacy Day 2013 and made it yet another memorable event. The day started out right, with a vote in the House of Representatives on one of our top priorities, Sibling Visits. We packed the House Gallery to see HB 1204 pass the House unanimously! The House followed this amazing act with a formal recognition of and standing ovation for our courageous youth. This was the second year in a row the House honored our youth on Youth Advocacy Day. It was truly inspiring to see our young leaders witness yet again the fruits of their advocacy.
Before working for the Mockingbird, I was uncertain of the future. All I knew was that I needed a job that involved me in the community. Looking back at the person I was a year ago versus me now is a complete transformation. My path is changing as I leave the position of Network Representative to further my education. I will be attending Highline Community College beginning April 1st as a full time student. Going to college is something that I have always been encouraged to do but I wasn’t ready to take on such a big task. I am now motivated and completely ready to pursue my higher education. So, here I am dedicating four years to school because I want to!
Power of One
Having the opportunity to job shadow State Representative Ross Hunter was such an extraordinary opportunity for me. Last June, I applied to attend Mockingbird’s Youth Leadership Summit. The application to attend the Summit required an essay and all of the application essays were reviewed and I won the prize for best essay. The prize was the opportunity to spend the day shadowing a decision maker in the child welfare system.
Have you ever wondered where you are going to lay your head for the night? One day you’re in what seems like a permanent placement and the next night you are wondering where you are going to sleep, what you are going to eat and who is going to be around you. Well, this is my story.
I was in foster care for just over four years and was constantly moving due to issues with my placements. A little before my eighteenth birthday, the lady who I was living with said I had to move, so I moved in with the janitor from my school, then to a friend’s house and finally to the streets.
it’s the Artificial who survive
Bent And Folded, hung out to dry
drowned in silence, by all the lies… are you alive
hide… or Face your Fear
why feign hope in darkness when the cracks appear
Surmount the crux, you own it
not craft or molded, it’s the animal who survive
the future’s golden, reclaim and hold it
entreat your dreams with no disguise
hide…or Face your Fears
exact hope as daylight draws near
I am alive
and I’m one of a kind
The Journey to Youth Advocacy Day
Region 1 South (Spokane) — February was a very active month for the Spokane chapter, as we held two chapter meetings and went to Olympia to participate in Youth Advocacy Day. On February 4, 2013 we had our 1st chapter meeting with Damon Hunter as our Engagement Specialist. The meeting went really well, as we introduced Damon and did a reintroduction of The Mockingbird Society to this region. We had 12 participants and received positive feedback from every attendee. We were also able to lock down our five participants for Youth Advocacy. On February 11, 2013 we held our Legislative Advocacy Training, in which we prepared for Youth Advocacy Day. The training was very informative, especially for those of us whom have never been able to attend YAD.