Every year, over 400 youth and young adult participants engage in trainings that build their skills as community members, leaders, and advocates. The Mockingbird Society provides these trainings as a means to empower our young people to speak up for themselves and their peers, while helping them develop into successful adutlts.
Legislative Advocacy: A two-hour, highly experiential training designed to teach participants effective direct advocacy strategies in preparation for Youth Advocacy Day.
Voice Development: A two-hour training designed to teach participants to create an effective advocacy message with a clear problem statement and proposed solution(s) supported by accurate data and relevant personal stories. This training is provided in preparation for the Foster Youth & Alumni Leadership Summit.
Transitions: Encountering unexpected change in our lives is a universal experience. However, youth in foster care and those experiencing homelessness encounter changes with undeniable frequency. This five-hour training, developed with generous support from the Andrus Family Fund, is designed to teach participants a new way of understanding and coping with life changes. The training is based on William Bridges’ Transitions Framework, which defines ‘change’ as an external event and ‘transition’ as an internal psychological and emotional process related to a change. Participants walk away from the training empowered with new language and tools that help them manage change and transition in a healthy and effective way.
The Power of Voting: How do you exercise power in a democracy? In this 90-minute civic education training, participants learn how to register to vote in Washington state. Participants are also invited to consider civic engagement as the right and responsibility of an advocate. TMS remains an independent, nonpartisan voice for advocacy, so the training is intended to build consciousness and skills, not to sway the youths’ opinions about specific issues or candidates.
Storytelling for Advocacy: An interactive, 90-minute training that teaches participants how to share their personal stories effectively and with an advocacy purpose. The key concepts of the curriculum are the four C’s: Choose, Connect, Claim, and Credibility. After going through this training, youth learn how to choose what personal details they share – and which to keep private. They connect with their audience using relatable stories and examples to build empathy. Participants are encouraged to claim emotions they feel when they recount their experiences – and not to apologize for them. Finally, they establish credibility by building a deep understanding of the issues from the perspective a consumer and advocate.