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Mockingbird Times - May, 2013

Mockingbird times 

May is Foster Care Month!

It’s Okay to Ask for Help

homeless iconHomeless Youth Initiative
Dahkota Beckham


Youth participant Dahkota BeckhamI remember feeling my heart fly out my chest, finishing a hopeful goodbye letter and folding it on the counter. I thought to myself, “Was I really doing this? Could I make it out there alone? Maybe it wasn’t really that bad yet?” I was incredibly horrified, had it really gotten to this point? I tracked down three boxes in the dark and threw whatever items I could possibly put inside of them in. The footsteps were getting closer I could hear my mom screaming my name in anger as I took a deep breath and thought to myself, here we go again. But I made a run for it, straight to my tiny little Volkswagen plying the three boxes in the back seat as fast as I could. As I started the car and locked the door I realized I finally made it. I looked up at my clock, it was midnight on the dot. I put my car in drive and flew down the drive way as fast as the car would go. I knew that this was not the way most 18 year olds start their birthday, but I would take it. Naïve or not I finally got out of a situation I only dreamed about leaving, but now what was next?

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The Mockingbird Society Attends the Citizen University Conference

reformiconSystem Reform
Mandy Urwiler


Mandy Urwiler  Fred KingstonOn March 23, The Mockingbird Society attended and presented at Citizen University, a program geared toward getting youth involved in civic engagement. The program consisted of presentations by the Colleen Willoughby Civic Engagement Award winners from 2012, as well as many panels about youth civic engagement and how youth can get more involved. 

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Letter From the Editor by Jim Theofelis

Jim Theofelis

Dear Friends:

May is National Foster Care Month! Now is the time to honor the caregivers, case managers, service providers, and advocates whose hard work ensures that our society’s most vulnerable children and youth have the opportunity to thrive. These dedicated champions understand better than anyone that these children are our children and deserve the support of nurturing adults, families, and communities.

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The Mockingbird Society and The National Foster Youth Action Network Team Up

payiconPay It Forward
Deonate Cruz

NFYANWithin the last year, the Mockingbird Youth Network has gotten on board with a national foster care advocacy organization known as The National Foster Youth Action Network (NFYAN). The whole idea behind this collaboration is to get the Network and other small foster care advocacy agencies a little more national exposure. We want to partner and network with other organizations in other states that do similar work to what we do in order to achieve a higher level of advocacy on the state level, as well as on the national level. NYFAN also offers Mockingbird technical support in the form of trainings and information sessions because the process of advocacy on a state level differs from the process of advocacy on a national level.

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Cash to Careers Program

payiconPay It Forward
Tianna Oliver

Need help finding a good job? Tired of all the unsuccessful interviews? Are you in the Tacoma area? Then Cash to Careers is for you. If you’re between the ages of 18-24 and are not currently enrolled in any secondary schooling, but are either getting a GED, participating in an apprenticeship program or participating in a Running Start/ Fresh Start program, then you may qualify for this opportunity. Aimed to help those who want to acquire occupational skills to get a job with livable wages and keep it, Cash to Careers provides you with up to $3,000 for help with tuition, books, supplies, fees, and some living expenses.

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Using My Voice to Make a Change

powericonPower of One
Chris Bauer

Chris BauerImagine waking up in the morning to the subtle aroma of roasting cacao beans. It’s true the best part of waking up is Folger’s, and of course you know the rest of the jingle. Now imagine waking up to that sensational aroma just to realize there is no way you could afford a cup. You did sleep in the alley of a coffee shop after all. It’s 6am and you’ve already had a bad day. Welcome to homelessness.

It’s a fact that I don’t like to admit is true. A third of youth who are in care or have recently exited foster care in Washington state will or have already experienced some form of homelessness. I have fallen into those statistics as well, and it’s a tough way to live. You don’t know where your next meal will come from and given the confused ecosystem of our state, trying to stay dry for more than an hour is easier said than done.

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Mindless Machine


Art in Action
By Jill Nance
and James Murphy

Mindless Machine

Take me apart, dismantle me.

Scrap my mind, and Discard my heart.

Haphazard, nonessential,

expendable pieces.

Useless fragments, twisted mess,

Dysfunctional division.

Put me back together. Assemble me anew.

Not a better product just this

Valueless wreck you’ve turned me into.

Broken, incomplete, incompatible, I

am nothing worthwhile.

Belittle my essence, my assembly.

Devalue my sentience.

Liquidate my love, my devotion, and my weakness.

Rip me open and take away my memories.

Accidental, additional things, I cherished.

Broken jumbled data, unneeded, unnecessary,

Reassemble me,

A mindless machine.

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Chapter Voice

The Mockingbird Network

system reformChapter


Everett Chapter Youth Prepare for Summit 2013 by Jill Nance

youth at last

Region 2 North (Everett) — This month the Everett Chapter focused on team building and preparing our chapter for the upcoming youth Summit. We started by working on our Summit application essays.

We also participated in an icebreaker where we split into groups and played a game of charades in which we were faced with the question, how does a group of five people use physical rather than verbal language to convey the word “food processor”. This presented quite the challenge, but also gave us a chance to practice and more fully appreciate the teamwork required not only in something as mundane as charades but something as important as presenting our ideas at Summit.

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