Reflections on the Everett Chapter Meeting
Youth from the Everett Chapter's leadership team discuss some of the highlights from their chapter meeting in April.

By: Jil Nance, Everett Chapter Leader; Connie Hottman-Nance, Everett Leadership Team Member; and Melisa Suljic, Everett Chapter Leader


During the Everett Chapter’s April chapter meeting, the group continued to build on the brainstorming they did in March to identify key issues in the child welfare system that they want to address through advocacy. The group shared personal stories related to the identified issues and continued to ask good questions about root causes and why they believe certain things consistently happen in the foster care system. After the meeting with,Jil Nance (Chapter Leader), Melisa Suljic (Chapter Leader), and Connie Hottman-Nance (Leadership Team Member) each wrote a personal reflection about the Chapter Meeting.


At the Everett chapter meeting on April 19th, our chapter focused on narrowing down our advocacy topic. We had an awesome mix of both returning chapter members and new comers, who were all incredibly active and engaging when working on our Chalk Talk activity [a silent brainstorming activity where ideas are shared and responded to on a chalkboard or poster] as well as in our group discussions. I was really proud to see some of our new Leadership Team Members taking charge and really stepping into their roles as young leaders. We had three new chapter members at the meeting and they were all so strong and passionate. I think it’s safe to say that with our mix of new passion and learned leadership skills, Everett Chapter will not only continue to bring great topics to the table, but serve up lots of support and new ideas for future change.


This chapter meeting went really well. It was really cool to be able to make so much progress and to get everyone’s input on the different brainstorming questions. I think Chalk Talk is a great way to have everyone thinking about our issues without getting distracted by talking. I think overall, the meeting went really well, plus it was nice to finally have air conditioning in the room! I definitely think we narrowed down our topics some more and it was interesting to see what other chapter members thought on the different questions and to see all the replies and comments that people left on each other’s writing. We had some really good conversations and we made a lot of progress.


This April chapter meeting is one that, for me, will be hard to forget. I have grown a lot in my own leadership and with the Everett Chapter. I loved that there were youth at our meeting that were so invested. Everyone gave their best participation and were thoughtful with their responses. Looking around the room and seeing paragraphs and paragraphs in response to the questions in our activity made me really proud. I will say that over my time as Chapter Leader, I have seen many young leaders come out of the Everett Chapter and I hope we can continue to do a great job like we have been doing so far. I am excited to be one of the Chapter Leaders of this wonderful chapter that is full of great potential!