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Ezra Alem

Before SB 5290 was implemented and passed, I participated in finding better solutions for vulnerable youth and young adults based on my own experiences. These issues are very important to me, both personally and professionally, due to how my life turned out.

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Rinn Cronin-Kleinman

Dear Systems of Care,

Care is one word for taking baby
birds and binding their wings
throwing us in cages
beaks held shut
Systems of care
decide when the bird sings

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Brianna Franco

As a person of color who is white passing, my identity is a complex topic for me. Even as early as age 12, I was brought up to think that appearing white was a benefit that should be taken advantage of—something my heart has never accepted. Does that mean I can call myself a Latina? I mean, my family is Mexican, whether they accepted that fact or not.

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Avrey Tuttle

The job of a social worker is to help a young person navigate the child welfare system, and to look out for their best interests. Social workers must be able to connect, engage, support, and listen to young people if they are going to make a positive difference in their lives. 



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Brianna Fenske

“You’re such a smart kid!” “You have so much potential.” “You’ll do great things one day.” All the things that adults told me when I was growing up now swirl in my head, along with the echoes of my old hopes and dreams. What I wanted to become changed often. I wanted to be a pastry chef — no, a veterinarian! Maybe I wanted to be a scientist with my name on the project that saves the oceans. Now? Now I just want to make sure no one else goes through what I had to.


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