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Mockingbird Times - November, 2012

Mockingbird times 

Advocacy.  Every Day.

A Luncheon to Remember

payiconPlay It Forward
Diamonique Walker


a luncheon to remember

On October 11, 2012, The Mockingbird Society hosted our 6th Annual Benefit Luncheon. The theme of this event was Advocacy Every Day. Through many of the speeches it was conveyed to our audiences that even when we aren’t putting on the big and memorable events (i.e. Youth Advocacy Day), we are always advocating towards smaller objectives that work towards the bigger picture: “building a world-class foster care system” for the state of Washington.
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An Unforgettable Experience

powericonPower of One
Amanda Bevington

A month before our 6th Annual Benefit Luncheon, I started practicing my speech every day. I was so honored that The Mockingbird Society asked me to be the keynote speaker. I would eat, sleep, and breathe my luncheon speech, literally!

I was extremely nervous, scared, and anxious to present about my life. Even though I had all those mixed emotions inside, I still felt like it was my obligation to try to help the audience understand how it truly feels to be a young person faced with many challenges. I wanted to share with the audience some of the things I had been through when I was in foster care as well as being adopted. My goal was to let people know that I have been through many obstacles in my life, and at one point, I did not care what would happen to me. I thought I was a failure and I did not consider myself a role model or a leader before I came to The Mockingbird Society. I wanted people to understand that many youth and young adults have walked in my shoes. My goal was to tell people how Mockingbird has helped mold me into the young professional I am today.

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Successful Luncheon Reflects Team Achievement

Pay it ForwardPay it Forward
David Buck


The Mockingbird Society’s Annual Benefit Luncheon is now over. The culmination of months of hard work and preparation from everyone in The Mockingbird Society was effectively shown through the impact of this year’s program. The power of the Mockingbird Youth Network was on display at our 6th Annual Benefit Luncheon on October 11th.

However, the Luncheon doesn’t begin and end on the day of the event; it takes months of hard work and determination by everyone involved. This work from the bottom up shows our organizations dedication to our mission. Our often unsung heroes of this event are our amazing Development team. Our Director of Development, Brian Lawrence and our Development Coordinator Amber Carrigan put in long hours to make our annual benefit luncheon happen. Planning for this event begins in March, when the development of key partnerships with major funders such as the Sessions Family Foundation and the Schultz Family Foundation happen. This is also the time where securing the venue and many logistical needs are met. The hard work of our Development Team encompassed so many important tasks, from securing leadership donations and sponsorships to planning the event and working with the speakers.

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Nobody Cares

system reformArt in Action
Victoria Jackson


When you feel alone like no one cares, read this because it’s absolutely true:

Every night, someone thinks about you before they go to sleep. At least 15 people in this world love you. The only reason someone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you. There are at least 2 people in this world that would die for you. You mean the world to someone. Someone that you don’t even know exists loves you. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look. Always remember the compliments you’ve received. Forget the rude remarks.

Foster care changed my life and it can change your life also.


Chapter Voice

The Mockingbird Network

system reformChapter


Tacoma Youth Prepare for Civic Engagement by Tianna Oliver


Region 3 North (Tacoma) — We were invited by Cobi Silver, the Family Support Specialist from Catholic Community Services to present at their Exploration Day on November 3rd. We will be joining various speakers from Tacoma area programs that offer resources related to foster care. During the event we will share information about the Mockingbird Youth Network and do outreach for our Tacoma Chapter and for Youth Advocacy Day on February 22nd. 

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Welcome to the Nest

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Deonate Cruz



deonate cruzResource Specialist Courtney Millan and Network Coordinator Brooklyn Jones

Resource Specialist Courtney Millan

Courtney Millan is originally from Spokane, WA and has lived in Seattle for the past seven years. She studied at Seattle Pacific University where she majored in political science and communications with an emphasis in journalism. In June of 2012 she received her Master in Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington.

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Letter From the Editor by Jim Theofelis

Jim TheofelisDear Friends,

On October 11th, The Mockingbird Society hosted one of our most impressive Benefit Luncheons yet, with over 540 supporters attending and over $250,000 raised! This edition of the Mockingbird Times features recaps and reactions from our Mockingbird Youth Network team and the amazing youth voices that led our inspiring program. I am proud of the courage exhibited by our youth speakers, including emcee Deonate Cruz, keynote speaker Amanda Bevington, along with Mandy Urwiler, Tianna Oliver, and Samantha McDonald. Their stories of strength and hope truly stole the show. Their experiences and successes are what drives our work and ensures that we advocate every day for positive child welfare reform.

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Seeing Myself

contributeiconSpecial Contribution
Valerie Skelton

my selfValerie Skelton joins Luncheon emcee Deonate Cruz

I remember telling everyone at the Luncheon that I’d plug my ears and hide under the table when my video came on as if it were the scariest movie of all time. But when the music started, I saw my red clogs walking, and my voice announcing the line “imagine this is you,” it was as if I’d finally seen myself for the first time. I heard the statistics and they had a deep impact on me. I saw my face at the end walking confidently and I finally realized the purpose of the film. The process of making the film, however, was eye-opening. A simple scene like walking in front of a camera in a straight line would take twenty attempts. Then finally when the director would say “We got it! That time was perfect!”— we’d still retake the scene ten more times just for good measure. For example, we filmed the scene of me walking through the aisle in the store at least fifty times because either I’d walk too fast, too slow, or the camera would jiggle too much. It made me more appreciative of full-length picture films and simple daily tasks.
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