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Mockingbird Times - July, 2013

Mockingbird times 

2013 Leadership Summit Report

Leadership Summit a Huge Success!

reformiconSystem Reform
Mandy Urwiler


Leadership FrontJune 24th-26th were filled with passion. Those days held the 8th Annual Foster Youth and Alumni Leadership Summit. During the Summit, youth and young adults from across the state came to share in their common goal: to create a world-class foster care system through advocacy and system reform.

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Letter from the Editor

Dear Friends:

As Co-Chairs of the Washington State Supreme Court Commission on Children in Foster Care, we are honored to serve as “Guest Editors” of the Foster Youth and Alumni Leadership Summit Edition of the Mockingbird Times! The Washington State Supreme Court Commission on Children in Foster Care seeks to provide all children and youth in foster care with safe, permanent families, where all of their needs are met. We are a legislative appointed group of decision makers that work with youth and those involved in all aspects of the foster care system to implement changes to Washington’s foster care.

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A Journey Completed

powericonPower of one
Diamonique Walker

After over five years of being aA Journey Completed part of The Mockingbird Society, working in the Mockingbird Youth Network, I have made the tough decision to resign from my position as a Senior Youth Network Representative. I am confident that I have learned many of the necessary skills to function in a professional environment because of the time I have spent here. I am thankful for the opportunities that I have had to develop as a leader, advocate, and professional because of the Youth Network.

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Youth-Inspired Solutions

reformiconSystem Reform


Youth-Inspired Solutions

monthly meeting

Seattle Chapter Youth in care are subject to significant levels of psychotropic medication at a much higher rate than their peers in
intact families. While Washington State has taken effective steps to address the overuse of these medications, youth do not have adequate access to effective alternatives to medication. We want to maintain state oversight tools including the Partnership Access Line (PAL), and automatic second opinion for polypharmacy (5 medications or 2 medications from the same family).

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First Place Summit Essay, “How the Summit Changed My Life”

powericonPower of one
Josephine Davis, Spokane Chapter

Josephine Davis Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” I will never forget the first leadership summit I was a part of because it changed my life. When I went to the summit I was introduced to the bigger picture, the greater good for the future generations of foster children. Call me ignorant at the time, but I had no idea other foster youth went through the same things I did. I was even more surprised to learn they went through worse experiences.

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Runner-Up Summit Essay, “Striving for Change”

powericonPower of One
Javonna Arriaga, Seattle Chapter

Runner-Up Summit It was the final performance of Sarah Was Here, the very first Boundless Arts production. As the applause finally started to dissipate, I noticed that one of the youth actors was crying profusely behind her massive bouquet of flowers. I was aware that her family had been unable to come to a performance, and the flowers she received were from the tutors that work at Treehouse For Kids. Concerned that Sandy (name changed) was upset as a result, I rushed over to comfort her. I began stuttering reassurances as I approached, trying desperately to make this a positive experience for her. She looked at me utterly confused and simply said, “No, it’s because I’m so happy.”

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Only in pretend


Art in Action
By Gabriel Plummer

Only in Pretent

You think blood is hidden by the
Life is distorted in the shadows.
Playing behind torn drapes, So
much fun.
The shadows hide almost
But once you walk back into the
The shadows leave you.
Once your only friends, you find
they are make believe.
You were only hidden in pretend.
Now all your sins are out in the

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