Power of One iconPower of One

Heaven Calvert


“I mean, we all need a
chance sometimes.”
— Joel Osteenheaven foster youth

It’s been two years since I went to my first Mockingbird meeting. I know I wouldn’t actually be here today if I hadn’t decided to give it another shot. Two years ago I was painfully shy and really against trying new things. I had just moved to Yakima from Prosser and had not only switched families and schools, but also Independent Living Skills (ILS) trainers. I was actually a bit scared to meet my new ILS trainer, Sara, so I had my Tri-cities ILS trainer, Whitney, come with me to meet her. Sara told me about The Mockingbird Society, and told me when the next meeting would be. It was the last meeting before Youth Advocacy Day, two years ago.

I went to the meeting and clung to Sara the entire time. I had no clue what anyone was talking about and I remember thinking this isn’t for me, there’s no way I can fit in here. Well, apparently my thoughts were clearly written on my face, because Sara said that she could see that I probably was never going to come back. She asked me to give Mockingbird another try, and I told her sure, I guess, but had no real intention of going back. I didn’t feel comfortable, and I didn’t really know anyone.

My mom remembered my promise to Sara and forced me to attend the next Mockingbird meeting. This time I tried to be more open, and I actually enjoyed myself. The atmosphere was very friendly and even though I didn’t know much, my ideas were treated with as much respect as everyone else’s. I got to know Jade, who was and still is one of the Chapter Leaders. Getting to know her gave me someone to connect to within the Chapter.

heaven jimWorking with The Mockingbird Society has helped me become a better advocate for myself, and others. Mockingbird has made me a stronger leader. I feel more at ease talking in front of people, which has also helped me in school. I had to give a presentation in my senior health class and having had the public speaking practice from Mockingbird, I aced it.

Here I am now, adopted, and a Yakima Chapter Leader in The Mockingbird Youth Network. Last year, I was awarded Advocate of the Year and will have the opportunity to job shadow Representative Maureen Walsh. From attending State Leadership Conferences to attending monthly Chapter meetings, Mockingbird has become an important asset to my life. Going to the Foster Youth and Alumni Leadership Summits, going to Youth Advocacy Days, becoming a Chapter Leader — all these things wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t given Mockingbird another chance.

So I suppose the moral of my story is that some things are worth giving a second chance. I certainly believe Mockingbird is worth it.




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We Welcome
Your Work

We welcome submissions of articles, poetry, artwork, and photography from our young readers who have experience in the foster care system and/ or homelessness. If you want to be, or have been, published in the Mockingbird Times visit www.mockingbirdsociety.org, call us at (206) 407-2134 or email us at youthprograms@ mockingbirdsociety.org. Note: Incoming letters to the editor and correspondence to youth under 18 years should be addressed to the Mockingbird Times and will be opened first by adult editorial staff.