Mockingbird Times August 2018


13th Annual Youth Leadership Summit

Power of One iconPower of One
Sierra Phillips

O ur 13th Annual Youth Leadership Summit was fantastic. I want to give a huge shout out to all our sponsors, community partners, allies, staff, and most importantly our chapter leaders and members. We couldn’t have done this without you all. For those who do not know, Summit is our annual event that happens in the summer. It is a chance for our young people from across the state to come together and present our ideas to the Office of Homeless Youth Advisory Committee and The Supreme Court Commission on Children in Foster Care. We also get to receive feedback from both state bodies.


Our Mental Health System Desperately Needs to be Fixed

Tatyana BarronThe closure of state hospitals during the ’70s and ’80s has funneled people experiencing psychiatric crises into correctional facilities. A person experiencing a mental health episode is much more likely to encounter police than receive the medical help they need, especially if that person is poor, a member of a minority group, or has a history with law enforcement. Once placed in a correctional facility a person may wait days or weeks before seeing a psychiatrist.

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Letter from the Executive Director

Color Youth Advocacy Day 349.AnnieDear Friends and Allies,

We know the separation of a child from their family causes indelible psychological harm and negatively impacts a child’s long-term development. Even in the most necessary of circumstances, family separation is traumatic. It can have consequences that last a lifetime and span across generations. Many of the young people who work with The Mockingbird Society have experienced this trauma and are open about the difficulty in overcoming the challenges associated with being removed from their families.


We Are the Same

System reform iconSystems Reform
Farid Rasuli

Farid article photo

Violence and persecution in Afghanistan compelled me to leave the country at the age of 14. This was not easy, especially because it was only my second timeleaving my hometown and the first without my family. I ended up in Indonesia; I became an asylum seeker. I waited one year to be recognized as a “refugee” by the United Nations High Commissioners for Refugees (UNHCR), then another two years to become eligible for the resettlement program to the United States.


The Helpfulness of ILS Services

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Emily FreemanEmily Freeman ILS

When you're a child in foster care that moves so often, when are you supposed to have time to learn basic skills? That was my personal experience through foster care. Thankfully, Pierce County Alliance’s Independent Living Skills Program (ILS) saved me. Before I entered the program, I will admit, I could not even set a simple practical budget! After attending their weekly meetings for a while, I was amazed at all the little things I didn’t know how to do that are needed for everyday life.


Degale Cooper Leaves Strong Legacy

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Azia Ruffdegale

You might know Degale Cooper: She was the very first Hub Home provider back in 2004 and has served as Director of Family Programs the last four years, overseeing and supporting the delivery, growth, and sustainability of the MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™. She recently spread her wings to YouthCare, where she continues her work in the community as Chief Programs Officer.


Addiction: We're All In This Together

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Franky Price, Jr.

Addiction is a burden to those personally affected by it and a coping mechanism for those who suffer from it. One group of people disproportionately impacted by addiction are those in our foster care system — the most vulnerable youth among us.



Art in Action By Jill Nance Soft, squishy and flimsy, That’s how it starts. A careful twist, the great reveal. Just a whole bunch of the same. Nothing really special, but it’s a place to begin. Which is best, is there any significance from the rest? Is it picked at random, or carefully chosen? Pulled from the safety of the bag, Now pressure, Hot and Constant. This is a time of change and there’s