May 2020

Mockingbird Times

Mockingbird Times

Youth Leadership. Youth Voice.

These Are Uncertain Times

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Avrey Tuttle

Tuttle Uncertain Times.adjAfter moving from Kirkland to Seattle, I’ve missed knowing my neighbors and having a feeling of togetherness within my community. When I was growing up, I knew I could always run next door for the exact ingredient I needed to bake cookies. After moving to Seattle almost two years ago, I was hesitant to ask a neighbor when I needed something. One night, after starting to cook dinner, I realized I didn’t have a can opener. I walked to the nearest unit, knocked on the door, and politely explained my situation. After asking the elderly woman if I could borrow her can opener for a moment, I was surprised when she shoved it towards me through cracked door and said, “Keep it, I can barely use it anymore with my arthritis.” I was surprised by her generosity.

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Mockingbird FamilyTM Expansion; State Budget Approves $409K

System reform iconSystem Reform
Brianna Franco

Franco MFM SupportMOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™ is an innovative foster care delivery model that creates an intentional microcommunity, akin to that of an extended family. The model unites six to ten foster/ kinship families living in close proximity to a central, experienced foster family (Hub) that provides support to the entire group. We call that a constellation. In Washington state, we have 16 Mockingbird Family constellations, with each constellation supporting 6-18 youth. This is a more effective system that keeps foster parents around longer and, more importantly, better supports youth because of the stability it provides.

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shout out

Letter from the Executive Director

Color Youth Advocacy Day 349.Annie

Dear Friends, Social distance, upended routines, and a sudden loss of control and uncertainty about the future. Worry about family you can’t be near, compounded by feelings of fear and loneliness. These are new experiences for many people during the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, this mirrors the reality for thousands of children and youth experiencing foster care or homelessness every single day.



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Home? What Home?

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Alyssa Downing

Alyssa Downing.adjAt the time of writing, the United States is in the middle of a global pandemic, and Washington state was ground zero. The first confirmed case in the U.S. was a 35 year-old man from Snohomish County in January. In only a few months after that first case, the U.S. has had over 1.3M confirmed cases, and over 80,000 deaths.

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Difficult Transitions

Power of One iconPower of One
Zahara Muhammed

Becoming homeless is a transition, kind of like any move between different homes. You have to pick up all of your belongings, and move away from your friends, family, coworkers, and classmates. Your familiar scenery, streets, shops, and schools. The difference when you become homeless is that it’s an open transition — you don’t know where you’re going, and the possibilities are endless. There is usually something positive about moving, but there’s always something terrible underlying moving from a home to the streets.

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Thank you, Rep. Pettigrew!

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Ezra Alem

In my experience, simple things like subtle gestures and the offhand efforts people make are more revealing of a person’s trustworthiness than lofty promises and grand gestures. Representative Eric Pettigrew’s actions as a legislator show his genuine care through his everyday actions. He also showed his commitment to transforming systems throughout his career by sponsoring legislation that addressed housing access, income inequality, education, and race equity.

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Want more? Be sure to check out our blog between Mockingbird Times publications:

Art in Action Matthew Taylor Paquette

Art in Action iconArt in Action
Matthew Taylor Paquette


When we smile, we are hiding our struggles.
We are drowning out the sorrows of our lives.
Why can’t people understand the struggles that are in our eyes.
They when we speak out our struggles there is disbelief,
When we find that person who cares
there is still no relief.

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Pandemic shines light on... everything

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Brianna Fenske

It seems like every 5 minutes there’s new news. So many crazy things are happening globally, and all because of a single unseen virus: COVID-19. But one thing has been made very clear by this pandemic, and it is that equity is a necessity when developing systems and societies. Here is a list that outlines the major issues that have been exacerbated by the coronavirus.

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2020 Archives

Staff Reporters
Race Equity Vision

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, 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.