San Francisco, CA, November 14, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- Foster Youth in Action, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization dedicated to foster youth advocacy, held its third annual youth leadership conference, Leaders for Change, November 6 – 10, 2014 in Oakland, Calif.
The theme for the Leaders for Change conference this year was “Communicating for Change.” Nearly 40 participants from around the nation focused on using effective and targeted communication at all levels of organizing and advocacy. Skill-building activities ranged from internal communications, such as building a strong advocacy group, to external communications, such as messaging to supporters, educating donors, delivering messages to decision makers, and staying connected as a powerful network.
More importantly, Leaders for Change allowed foster youth from different states to connect with one another while envisioning how they might improve the foster care system as a whole. The vast majority of youth leaders who attended are not only leaving with new skills, but also feeling more motivated to make a change. In the words of one young leader, “This was one of the best experiences I have had in foster care.”
“There was true community happening, a sense of power, and a belief that we are building something important,” said Matt Rosen, Executive Director of Foster Youth in Action. “Movement was a word used frequently, and the theme of the concluding sessions was about next steps, keeping the passion alive, and the commitment we all had to do so.”
Workshops focused specifically on individual communication skills, communicating with constituents, supporters, and policy makers, and strengthening a national network of foster youth advocacy organizations. Participants traveled from New York, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Southern California, and Florida to attend Leaders for Change.
One of the newly formed state-based groups reported, “This was an amazing first step in our journey. Thanks for allowing us to be a part of this. It was an incredible opportunity for our youth to start their leadership development and for me, as an adult ally, to gain info from other programs. We truly enjoyed it.”
About Foster Youth in Action (FYA): Foster Youth in Action empowers, mobilizes and connects a nationwide community of youth leaders and local partners to transform foster care policies and the lives they impact. FYA forms partnerships with foster youth-led advocacy groups all over the United States, offering intensive training, coaching and capacity-building services as well as Leaders for Change, an annual convening of these groups. Our peer-to-peer leadership development model equips foster youth with the skills and confidence they need to raise awareness and to educate policymakers at all levels about their unique challenges. Learn more at www.fosteryouthaction.org.