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Violet Banksviolet1

“Let the work I’ve done speak for itself”—Leviticus Huff

Since becoming employed at The Mockingbird Society (TMS), I have changed. Not because of the outside world, but because of the character I’ve grown into. If you’ve come to a luncheon, you’ve heard me say, “because of Mockingbird, I’ve found the strength in my voice”— that holds true.
I have grown from an insecure, self-deprecating young lady, to a confident, well spoken, thoughtful young woman. Although I already had some of those positive traits, staff at TMS gave me the support I needed to continue my growth with pride. Preparing to leave TMS has been an emotional transition for me, but while writing this final article I reflected on my time here. I have really appreciated the time I had with Jim and all the TMS staff (past and present), plus the wondrous events in which I’ve had the privilege to participate!

2011’s Youth Advocacy Day was my first interaction with TMS as a participant. I learned why advocacy could be important to me, and that was the realization that one day my little brothers may have to go through the same experiences that some of my friends and myself had gone through. I was hired at the end of 2013 when TMS was very busy. At my first big event, I was asked to co-emcee for the luncheon, which hosted a variety of families, community partners, and elected officials. Immediately afterwards I traveled to San Francisco, California for the Leaders For Change Conference and represented the hard work of The Mockingbird Youth Network (MYN) to other non-profit organizations from across the nation! Now in 2015, I have developed skills in speaking clearly with purpose and knowledge; I have built the supportive community needed to take charge of my life; I have begun to correct the barriers that prevented me from going back to school again.

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My time as a Network Representative is coming to a close, but I plan to stay involved with TMS. Whether it’s stopping by for mailing day when we send out the Mockingbird Times, or attending the Foster Youth and Alumni Leadership Summit or Youth Advocacy Day, I plan to be just a phone call away.

Currently I’m finishing up my transfer degree and looking into universities that will help me move in the direction of youth counseling, administration and social work.

I’m also working with an upcoming project to empower young women who aged out of foster care, so I still have a lot of work ahead of me!

I want to give a shout out to the Mockingbird Youth Network! Through these past 22 months, you guys have been my “wolf pack” in the hardest of times. Jim and the rest of the TMS staff, you all have been a rock for me in unstable times. Thank you to the supporters that made this all possible, and to the Board of Directors of TMS, plus all the young adults I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with. My time here has been nothing short of amazing and I hope you all continue to be a beacon for that young boy or girl who doesn’t know they will be affected by the foster care or homelessness system. I know I will! So, farewell TMS, and much love.


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