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Mockingbird Times - February, 2013

Youth Advocacy Day 2013

reformiconSystem Reform
Deonate Cruz

 Youth marchHigh energy, passion, young leaders, fun, great food, and change! These are just some of the things that are mentioned when people talk about the Mockingbird Society’s Youth Advocacy Day; one of our most exciting and monumental annual events. It’s a time when hundreds of youth who are directly affected by the child welfare system and homelessness gather in Olympia to make their voices heard.


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72 Hours Can Make a Difference

powericonPower of One
Montrai Williams


There are two sides to every story.  Sometimes both sides lie, sometimes both sides tell the truth. Sometimes both sides have differing stories. Who decides who is telling the truth?

In the case of a runaway teen, the one side is the adult. This adult may be the runaway’s parent, case manager, or foster parent. The other side is the runaway teen. There is usually a process to find out why this teen has run away from home. 

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Letter From the Editor by Jim Theofelis

Jim Theofelis

Dear Friends:

Every year, The Mockingbird Society brings hundreds of advocates in orange scarves to Olympia to cover the capitol on behalf of the thousands of youth impacted by foster care and homelessness in our state. On February 22nd, over 250 youth and adult allies from across Washington state will come together once again for Youth Advocacy Day!

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My Story: A New Beginning

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Kat McCarthy

I am now a 22 year old Seattleite, born and raised, and I feel so old. There were definitely plenty of times I did not think I’d make it out of my adolescence alive. Nowhere I am sharing my story for the benefit of other youth trying to navigate their way to adulthood and I’ve actually grown to love my city, with the help of some awesome homeless young adult services. 

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Legislative Update

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Mandy Urwiler


With Advocacy Day coming up fast, you may want to know where our legislative advocacy agenda sits. Where do we stand with the legislature on these issues?


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Lonely together


Art in Action
By Jil Nance


Lonely together.

I’m lost among my brothers, my sisters and my mother.

Father has gone away somewhere I’m lost in life and it isn’t fair.

so many others with a pair or peers a simple place to hide away from countless fears.

Yet I find myself drowning in my own tears, not a place to call home.

It seems again I spend another day alone.

You sit and watch me from afar you’re not a stalker its just how you are

Not friend or foe, Just another simple like me.

sitting in a lonely place you’d rather not be. Under the same sun, under the same sky,

Over the same matters we seem to make ourselves cry.

Broken by disappointment and abandonment we fear each others stare, Fearing the unknown and where it could go from there.

Oh pity this lonely pair.

too afraid to let the other know they care.

Standing Up Against Bullying

payiconPay it Forward
Samantha McDonald

As a young girl it was very hard to be social with others because of my disability and children knowing I was a foster child. There is nothing worse in my life that I experienced than my fellow peers treating me the way they did. They would torture me with name calling, and mess with my emotions by repeating “you’re going to be just like your mom, you don’t know anything, you’re stupid.” It didn’t get better at my foster home either even though my foster parents disciplined their children. I was at the same spot when it came to my foster siblings. I wasn’t able to fully be myself and to this day I am changed because of it. 

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Chapter Voice

The Mockingbird Network

system reformChapter


“Place to Place” Educates the Yakima Community by Yazmin Guinn

Region 1 South (Spokane) — “Place to Place” is a film about 3 youth who have been through and exited the foster care system. It follows Raif, Mandy, and Micah. They are followed for over two years as they struggle to change the system and improve their lives. Their compelling stories paved the way for their invite to the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth as they explain their life and how foster care made an impact on their lives.

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