Mockingbird Times May 2016




System reform iconSystem Reform

Deonate Cruzgym shot

The Mockingbird Society is known as a legislative advocacy organization, but have you ever wondered how we actually do advocacy? Let’s break it down into four steps: issue development, defining solutions, refining proposals, and mobilization/direct advocacy. Beginning in spring, youth start discussing issues they would like to see changed in order to improve foster care and end youth homelessness...

System reform iconSystem Reform


When you are marching on the Capitol at Youth Advocacy Day and screaming at the top of your lungs, it can be easy to forget that you are chanting only about a handful of issues. Weren’t there a lot more topics that all of the Mockingbird Youth Network (MYN) chapters were tackling half a year ago? What ever happened to those? 

annie blackledgeDear Friends and Allies,

Our young people’s advocacy and boldness to share their stories, the leadership and determination of legislative champions, and the collaborative efforts of our partners had a huge impact during the 2016 legislative session. This past year, the young people involved in Mockingbird programs across the state worked hard to develop a thoughtful and well-researched advocacy agenda to address the needs...

Pay it Forward icon 1Pay It Forward

Valerie Skeltonvalerie

I am an alumni representative in an organization called the International Foster Care Alliance (IFCA). IFCA’s mission is to collaborate with current and former foster youth internationally in order to improve the foster care system on a global level. We lead advocacy workshops teaching foster youth valuable skills, share our stories in hopes to create positive policy change in both nations and maintain the world’s first bilingual blog written about foster care by current/former foster youth. I have traveled to Japan with this organization three times and each trip has been very eye-opening for me.

System reform iconSystem Reform

Fernando Gutierrez

Foster care and prison are systems that unfortunately go hand in hand in many people’s lives. These two broken systems continue a vicious cycle of addiction, abuse, violence and neglect.

Power of One iconPower of One

Angel Gardner

Growing up in the foster care system and on the streets, one consistent thing in my life is other people’s uncertainty of whether or not I actually have a mental illness, as if they needed to double check as often as possible. There was nothing worse than hearing someone tell me I didn’t look depressed or that I seemed too relaxed to be feeling anxious.

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Chapter Voices

“What is a problem foster/homeless youth face that people are unaware of?”

“One problem is that people are unaware of how many foster youth are out there and how hard it is to find a good placement.”— Everett Chapter member, Dakota Harmon-Duckworth

2021 Archives

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, call us at (206) 407-2134 or email us at youthprograms@ 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.