Dear Friends,hickory gateless

We are excited to announce that Laura Pierce has joined The Mockingbird Society’s team as Interim Executive Director! Laura comes to us highly recommended. Over the past 17 years, she has been an excellent interim leader and organizational consultant for many local nonprofits.

In addition to leading the day-to-day efforts at Mockingbird, Laura will be working to further strengthen the organization and helping to identify Mockingbird’s next, right leader to take on the permanent executive director position. We hope you all will soon have a chance to meet Laura. In the meantime, you can learn more about her by reading her brief introduction below. Please join me in welcoming Laura to the team.

As we head into our 10th Summit, we are excited yet again to see youth advocacy in action and learn about more ways to improve the foster care system.Amid our leadership transition, we remain steady and laser-focused on improving foster care and ending youth homelessness. Indeed, preparations are underway already for this year’s 10th annual Foster Youth and Alumni Leadership Summit (Summit), which will be held on August 25th and 26th at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle. If you have been to Summit, you know this is a time where our youth advocates from throughout Washington get to work with expert community partners on how to best advocate for systems reform. And the youth advocates present reform proposals — inspired by their lived experiences — to the Washington State Supreme Court Commission on Children in Foster Care. Many of the issues advocated for in years past have given way to significant reform, addressing some of the most pressing issues in our child welfare system. As we head into our 10th Summit, we are excited yet again to see youthadvocacy in action and learn about more ways to improve the foster care system.

As for our work to end youth and young adult homelessness, Youth Advocates Ending Homelessness (YAEH) was featured in the third annual United Way of King County All-Star Classic for Youth on June 27, at Safeco Field. We had an incredible afternoon watching some of Seattle’s best current and former pro athletes and celebrities take the field alongside Mockingbird youth advocates. All proceeds from the game will be donated to organizations that support young people experiencing homelessness.

As you can see, Mockingbird is having a busy start to the summer! Thank you for your unwavering support as we continue our work with you all to improve the lives of our state’s most vulnerable children, youth, and families.

Kind regards,

Hickory Gateless

Board President

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