It’s amazing to me that fifteen years ago we published the very first Mockingbird Times and I wrote my very first Letter from the Editor. In April 2001, three young people and I launched The Mockingbird Society with the vision to develop an advocacy-based organization dedicated to improving the current and future lives of the children, youth and families involved in foster care and/or experiencing homelessness.
We focused our early sights on the state foster care system to do better by those it is funded to serve. From the very beginning we engaged, empowered and employed youth and young adults. I wanted an organization that invited young people to be “at the table” rather than “on the table”. They would be more than someone’s client — leaders and experts who could bring their life experiences and insight to inform our advocacy efforts AND nurture their personal healing.
we engaged, empowered
and employed youth
and young adults.
The past fifteen years have been remarkable for me in so many ways, and I want to thank ALL of you who have supported The Mockingbird Society and ask that you continue your great support for the next fifteen years and beyond. I especially want to thank the incredible young people who have come to and through The Mockingbird Society. I am proud of the accomplishments that WE have made over the past fifteen years and proud of the organization that WE have created — a healthy organization that is mission-driven and laser-focused on improving foster care and ending youth homelessness.
Finally, I want to thank all of the staff, members of our Board of Directors, and the many volunteers that have moved our mission forward. I have high hopes and confidence that the Mockingbird Family Model will grow to become an international model in delivering foster care. I trust the Mockingbird Youth Network and the Youth Advocates Ending Homelessness programs will both continue to grow young leaders, and I know the Public Policy and Communications team will continue to provide expert advocacy in our system reform efforts.
As you might guess this is a very emotional time for me as I transition from my role as the Founder and Executive Director of this fabulous organization. However, I am strengthened knowing that this organization has a dedicated Board of Directors and staff to continue the work. I am comforted knowing that there are so many incredible young people involved in Mockingbird that will carry the flame forward as we ALL prepare for that five-year-old child that has no idea she will need foster care. I close by reminding you once again that these are not “those children” but OUR children, and I thank you again for your unwavering support.
Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Act Signed Into Law
On Friday, April 24, 2015, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Act (HYPP Act) — ground-breaking legislation that will ensure that young people experiencing homelessness are prioritized at the state level. Dozens of young people and stakeholders from across the state attended the bill signing ceremony at the state capitol in Olympia.