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Jade Tillequotsmy le

 

My personal experience, as a former foster youth, a homeless youth, and now a Legislative Aide for Representative Fey has given me a unique perspective on the way I approach policies. As I get older, I see the world as a much more beautiful place than I did when I was young. I have learned how to effectively navigate within the current structures with the opportunities that are available to me working at the legislature.

Tireless work from the legislature and organizations like The Mockingbird Society and A Way Home Washington diligently work to make sure homeless and foster youth get the best resources and opportunities possible. My hat goes off to Mockingbird for implementing programs that create avenues for youth to connect with decision-makers and generate a chance to use their voice and utilize their personal experiences to help change policies.

My work can be challenging when I hear about the stories from former and current foster and homeless youth because I can relate in some way with each and every story. As I reflected on my own experience, I saw a pattern in my choice of words. The common word was “lack”; lack of food, resources, and support. Scared and unsure youth trying to make the best out of a rigid terrain is a common theme with underserved young people.

My experience in foster care has provided me the strength, courage and knowledge to advocate for those who lack my platform. My goal is to help positively change practices, policies, and procedures that directly impact underserved youth here in Washington state. I look forward to seeing a brighter future for so many youth.