On May 16, the Lincoln Project Everlast Youth Council held a Foster Care Awareness Month event in partnership with The Hub, which provides space, support, and guidance to the youth council, and The Bay, another long-time supporter of the Project Everlast Youth Council. The Bay graciously offered space to host this event to raise awareness around the needs, potential, and work being done by these young leaders.
Leaders from the youth council facilitated a panel discussion on the issues they face in their lives, how community members might better connect with young people who have foster care experience, and their priorities to help the community ensure that the right services are in place to support young people like themselves.
As a part of this discussion, the panel spoke to the extensive amount of advocacy work that they have done with community partners, local and state government agencies, and our state’s legislature. The influence that these young people have had and are planning to exert is truly amazing and has already made such a difference for the generations of foster children and youth that will come behind them.
The audience — which included young people from different communities, community agency partners, and concerned citizens — was impressed by the council leaders’ vast knowledge of the legal and political climate around issues facing their age group.
After the panel discussion, the group was invited to experience what the youth council calls “socials.” FlyDogz brought in an array of specialty hot dogs, and friends, acquaintances, and new connections were able to enjoy dinner and beautiful weather in each other’s company. These “socials” are an example of another mission of the youth council: providing an opportunity for young people to build or grow their support system of peers and caring adults.
As with all Lincoln Project Everlast Youth Council events, the key ingredient (and overarching atmosphere) was a feeling of family. Whether they’re making new connections, renewing faded connections, or deepening already-strong connections, all attendees seem to leave each event feeling as if they belong to a family. What a great environment and example of what it just might take for all of us in our community to thrive. And what a great group of young leaders who showcase for us what inspiration, love, compassion, determination, and strength can accomplish!