Join California Youth Connection and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH) to discuss how foster youth not only survive, but thrive, contribute and make a difference. This event includes panel discussions from current, former, and older generations of foster youth, and youth-led performances.
Fostering Resilience: What it Took, What it Takes, and Where it Has Taken You
When: Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Where: MAH Garden Room, 705 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone: (831) 429-1964
•Current and former-foster youth speakers
•including: CYC Executive Director Haydée Cuza and California Foster Care Ombudsman, Rochelle Trochtenberg
When I was asked to pose for a photograph about foster youth luggage, the clear plastic bags that foster youth belongings are put into when they enter and leave a placement, I was eager and happy to take part.
The photo does not bring up bad foster memories for me. Unlike other foster youth, I had places with biological family where I could leave my most precious items. I did have my belongings put into plastic bags, but I learned to be detached from things while in care, because theft was so common.
I kept nothing of value with me, so when I saw my clothes packed into the clear bags, it had no power over me. The strength I had as a foster kid was to accept the harsh consequences, like thievery among youth, and plan for it. What the picture means to me now, is a reminder of how many times I have moved after age 18 and after foster care. Instability is a common reason that youth enter care, and instability is a very common experience for youth after they exit care.
When you see my photo in Lost Childhoods at Grace Cathedral, I want you to think about the instability foster youth experience, and I want you to know that we carry on and that we are strong. And there are ways you can support foster youth in your community.
I hope to see you at Grace Cathedral, October 15 – November 1, 2015. Come any day, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.