Chosen: Foster Youth and Their Chosen Families

What supports young people to grow in resilience, success, good health and happiness? Love, connection and belonging. For foster youth this is even more profoundly true, even though fighting for food, clothing and shelter takes up so much energy.

Join Foster Youth Museum and our latest exhibition Chosen: Foster Youth and Their Chosen Families and witness youth building their families through choosing, and through love.  The exhibition features compelling photo portraiture from Ray Bussolari and the stories from the mouths (and hearts) of youth.  The show opens First Friday (April 3, 2020) and runs for three weeks.  More information coming soon about our first ever Chosen Family Commitment Ceremony to be held on April 9, 2020.

Chosen Warehouse 416 Flyer

Reflections on the Public Opening of FYM

Reflections on the Public Opening of Foster Youth Museum

By Jamie Lee Evans, Co-director

My heart won’t stop racing and my head can’t calm itself long enough for me to explain or understand why I have found myself in near or complete tears since the public opening of Foster Youth Museum. Is it something about being seen? Is it pride or exhaustion at the culmination of a long project? Is it expectation and hope that Lost Childhoods will open hearts in a way that can have a new and lasting impact on foster youth?

I felt weak in the knees during our opening, particularly when I talked about the history of the Museum and how it started during a curriculum jam session with six other former foster youth. I feel so much gratitude when I recall sitting among this group of former foster youth who were constructing answers to the problems that broke our hearts and spirits as children, to be actively working to right wrongs that had cost us so much.

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Fostering Truth: Exposing Lies and Exploring Resilience

Fostering Truth: Exposing Lies and Exploring Strength

Today we began installing Lost Childhoods at Warehouse 416 in Oakland. I’ve been part of Foster Youth Museum from the beginning – from the first moment the idea was born – so I found myself surprised that seeing items we started collecting in 2007 were choking me up like it was the first time I’d laid eyes on them. Truth is, this is the first time the general public will lay eyes on Foster Youth Museum (FYM), and for that reason alone, it is a little like I’m seeing the items for the first time, and feeling the impact anew.

What is so compelling about FYM are the stories behind the artifacts and art. Each of us who works on FYM has one item that impacts us the most. For me, it is the toilet paper sanitary pad.

Continue reading Fostering Truth: Exposing Lies and Exploring Resilience