Archive for November, 2012

5 Ways We Can Serve Your Youth

November 29, 2012

5 Ways The Teen Toolbox Can Serve Your Youth

 

1)    Packaged For Success™ Portfolio Development Program for teens helps teens put their best foot forward! During our one day professional portfolio development seminar, young people discover their strengths, record their achievements, create their own definition of success, and develop goals and action steps.  The end result is a completed professional portfolio.

 

2)    Making the Most of High School workshop is our introduction to academic enrichment.  Interactive activities will help students maximize their high school experience by accessing educational resources and creating a four-year academic plan.

 

3)    The Road Trip workshop will serve as an introduction to personal development.  Through interactive activities participants will discover their strengths and assets, recognize road blocks, and examine their support system as they travel on their personal success journey.

 

4)    5 Steps to Success workshop uses interactive games and group activities to walk participants through the steps to achieve their personal goals.

 

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Posted in Foster Youth Toolbox, Packaged For Success™, Parent/Foster Parent Toolbox, Service Provider Toolbox 2 Comments »

SPOTLIGHT on Shorona L.

November 27, 2012

SPOTLIGHT Teen of the Month

Shorona L.

November 2012

 

Shorona L. is a twenty year old junior in college in the state of New York.  Her hobbies include shopping, spending time with friends and family, and cooking.  Despite spending nine years in the foster care system, Shorona has decided to live life to the fullest!  While in high school’s main goal was to pass all of her classes and go to college.  Although she knew that she wanted to go to college and make the most of her college experience, she wasn’t sure what exactly she wanted to do. 

 

Shorona’s foster care agency helped her with the application process and she made the tough decision to go to college out of state. Shorona believes this is the best decision she could have made – she is able to be independent and experience college the way she envisioned.  The move out of state not only allowed her to gain insight about her life but she was also able to remove herself from the stress and drama that was a part of her life at that time.  Shorona knows that her West Indian parents would not have been able to afford her the opportunity to live on campus while attending college.  She has joined and participates in different clubs and organizations that she couldn’t have imagined joining. 

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Posted in Foster Youth Toolbox, SPOTLIGHT Teen of the Month 3 Comments »

I Am Unable to Adopt or Foster, Now What?

November 27, 2012

#Fact: The more birthdays a child celebrates in the foster care system, the less likely they are of being adopted. Older children need families too.

 

Foster care statistics according to the AFCARS Report for FY2011 (July 2012):

  • 400,540 in foster care on 9/30/11
  • 252,320 entered foster care during FY2011
  • 104,236 children and youth waiting to be adopted
  • 31,101 seventeen year olds in foster care
  • 29,264 sixteen year olds in foster care
  • 24,220 fifteen year olds in foster care

 

Raising awareness about the need to help teenagers in foster care ‘secure’ a forever family through adoption or to help them develop a support system of caring adults who will assist them after their foster care services end is essential to improving their quality of life.

 

I’m unable to adopt or become a parent what else can I do?

 

So glad you asked that question.  There are so many ways to get involved to support teenagers and young adults in foster care.

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Posted in Foster Youth Toolbox, Get Involved, Packaged For Success™, Parent/Foster Parent Toolbox, Service Provider Toolbox 1 Comment »

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

November 22, 2012

I admit that it upsets me when Christmas decorations line the store shelves at the same time as Halloween decorations.  Commercialization can not only bombard us make us forget the real meaning of the Christmas season, but if we aren’t careful we can forget about Thanksgiving as well.  There are very few Thanksgiving movies on television, Santa Claus closes out the Thanksgiving parades, and thousands of people forego sleep on Thanksgiving night to get a jump start on their Christmas shopping.  Well…I haven’t forgotten the reason for the season.  I want to express my gratitude today.

 

  • I am thankful for my family and friends.

 

  • I am thankful for my health and home.

 

  • I am thankful that The Teen Toolbox allows me to follow my passion and purpose while making a difference.

 

  • I am thankful for YOU! Thank you for your readership, your comments, your social media posts, and your encouragement.

 

  • Thank YOU for caring about the needs and desires of children and teens awaiting adoption.

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Posted in Packaged For Success™, Parent/Foster Parent Toolbox, Service Provider Toolbox No Comments »

Seeking Successful Female Foster Care Alumni

November 20, 2012

2012 marks the 6th year for our Annual Pack A Purse Holiday Drive to support teen girls in foster care.  Through the generosity of amazing donors, we have collected and donated a total of 951 purses to twenty-five organizations over the past five years.  This December we will use our blog as a platform to spread inspiration and hope by highlighting the triumphs of women foster care alumni.  We want to profile women who did not allow life in the foster care system to break their spirit or keep them from achieving their goals AND are now giving back to youth in foster care.  We want to use your success to show youth in care that they can not only survive but thrive.

 

If you are a woman who spent at least 3 months in the foster care system and you are now helping current foster youth move forward through your job, business, nonprofit organization, or philanthropic or volunteers efforts we want to hear from you.  You may also nominate someone for this feature.

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Posted in Foster Youth Toolbox, Service Provider Toolbox, SPOTLIGHT Teen of the Month No Comments »

What Am I Afraid To Tell You?

November 15, 2012

What am I afraid to tell you? That’s a loaded question isn’t it? 

 

  • What might a youth in foster care be afraid to tell their biological parent?

 

  • What might a youth in foster care be afraid to tell their social worker?

 

  • What might a youth in foster care be afraid to tell their foster parent?

 

  • What might a youth in foster care be afraid to tell their sibling or best friend?

 

  • What might a youth in foster care be afraid to tell the life skills workshop facilitator?

 

The answers of course will vary depending on each individual child or young adult but put yourself in the shoes of the next young person you engage with.  What I am afraid to tell you (my blog readers) pales in comparison to the secret fears, emotions, or goals any young person in foster care may be holding inside.  You might also want to read “Is Your Teen Wearing A Mask?”.

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Posted in Foster Youth Toolbox, Packaged For Success™, Parent/Foster Parent Toolbox, Service Provider Toolbox 6 Comments »

Where Can I Volunteer?

November 13, 2012

I get many calls and emails from teens and parents who want or need community service hours.  I love those calls because I believe we all have something to contribute and we should share our talents to make the world a better place. 

 

The Teen Toolbox sponsors two annual service opportunities to raise awareness about the issues faced by youth aging out of foster care and to show them we care: 

  1. Pack A Purse Drive – collect and donate purses and personal hygiene items for teen girls in foster care (December)
  2. Pack A Backpack Drive – collect and donate backpacks and personal hygiene items for teen boys in foster care (May)

 

At other times of the year I recommend that young people select a service opportunity that complements their interests and strengths.  Not only can they make a positive impact on society, but meaningful community service opportunities allow them to develop valuable social and professional skills as well.

 

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Posted in Foster Youth Toolbox, Get Involved, Packaged For Success™, Parent/Foster Parent Toolbox, Service Provider Toolbox No Comments »