SPOTLIGHT Teen of the Month

The Teen Toolbox 2013 Accomplishments & Achievements

Posted by on January 1, 2014 at 5:00 am

Hello 2014!  I welcome you with open arms…Packaged for Success and prepared for an extraordinary year!

Here is a look back at 2013 with The Teen Toolbox!


SPOTLIGHT Teen of the Month

  • Manuella
  • Nick
  • Leroy
  • Tony
  • Jahlika
  • Jordan
  • Amber



  • National Executive Youth Leadership Summit
  • On Purpose Networking for Women
  • 33nd Annual MARFY Conference
  • Imagine Foundations at Leeland Public Charter School
  • The Youth Empowerment Telesummit
  • Trinity Washington University
  • Challengers Independent Living Program
  • Glory Soldiers Global



  • Maryland Association of Resources for Families & Youth
  • Coalition of Adoption Programs, Inc.
  • The Maids of Maryland
  • Glory Soldiers Global
  • National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Prince George’s County Maryland Chapter
  • Watkins Hornets Youth Association
  • Prince George’s Community College student organizations


Supporting Our Community/Exploring Our World

  • 2nd Annual Pack A Backpack Drive
  • 7th Annual Pack A Purse Drive

These Teens Rock

Posted by on December 23, 2013 at 9:01 pm

The Teen Toolbox eliminates negative stereotypes of teens in foster care with our SPOTLIGHT Teen of the Month recognition. Our SPOTLIGHT Teen of the Month award recognizes a youth (14-21) in the foster care system that is leading a life of promise and making a positive impact in his or her community.


SPOTLIGHT Teen of the Month nominations are accepted on a continuous basis. #STOTM

SPOTLIGHTTeen of the Month 2013


Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer
The Teen Toolbox utilizes youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic empowerment strategies to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs. We are committed to supporting and raising awareness about the needs and potential of teenagers in the foster care system.

© Copyright Protected. ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED.


Posted by on November 25, 2013 at 6:00 am

Amber S. exited the Florida foster care system two years ago. Her interests include art, music, crime scene investigation shows. She is a fan of hip hop, rap, R&B and gospel music.


Other people describe Amber as being shy and always staying to herself. She describes herself as being a good listener, and good at math and a good problem solver. She is a giver who loves to help others with their problems and her math skills come in handy as she sets a budget for herself.


Amber’s favorite TV shows are Criminal Minds and Supernatural. She graduated high school early by obtaining her GED and plans to attend college and pursue a Master’s degree in criminal justice, specializing in crime scene investigations. Watching law enforcement shows on TV and research on the crime scene industry has led Amber to her career goal to become a crime scene investigator.


Reflections of a Foster Child

Posted by on October 30, 2013 at 6:00 am

Reflections of a Foster Child


When you see a child in care, when you see me…

Answer this question, what do you see?


Do you see resiliency? Do you see what I plan to be?


I don’t think so, I think you see the system because to you, I have no face!

So for me to overcome the system I must move from place to place.


Integration, segregation, group homes, different homes

Overcoming the system is like living in a dome.


To overcome the system, I need love and support.

I feel like an unborn baby hearing the doctor’s say “Abort”.


You see we want to overcome the system but were confused we don’t know what’s in store.

Is the system a safety net or just another Trap Door?


© Rick, Foster Child
[Published with permission]

teen male

Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer


Posted by on October 28, 2013 at 6:00 am

Jordan F. is an 8th grade student in Georgia. He entered foster care at 7 years old and was shuffled around in several homes before arriving at his adoptive parents’ home when he was 10. Jordan spent six years of his young life in foster care before being adopted one year ago.


Jordan is the Founder of Stickman Coffee, LLC. He began Stickman Coffee when he was 13 years old to earn enough money to buy himself a Chevy Camaro when he turns 16. Jordan likes playing basketball and has sponsored a local basketball team this year. He is active in his local youth group at church as well.


Stickman Coffee allows Jordan to help plant churches in Honduras, support widows in Cameroon, and pay it forward to a local ministry called HopeQuest. Stickman Coffee is truly changing the world one cup at a time.


Jordan’s goals are to make a positive difference in this world for the Glory of God, to buy his dream car at age 16, and attend college at Liberty University. Another goal of his is to have coffee shops or roasting shops across the country.

They Found It Early

Posted by on September 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Last night I watched the finale on Rachel vs Guy Kids Cook Off on The Food Network. Eight young chefs competed for a title and their own webs series on Ten year old Brandon was the winner.  These kids really made some really complex dishes.Although I did not see the three prior episodes in the series, I was very impressed with the skills, commitment, and love of learning each child possessed. They also did very well under pressure. (#RvGKids)


There were three things that I really appreciated about the show:

  1. Each child was accompanied by at least one parent. The parents were available and supportive.
  2. The parents helped their children recognize their talents and gifts early in life and then nurtured those gifts.
  3. The young contestants were a part of a team and mentored by experienced, compassionate chefs (Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri)



Posted by on September 23, 2013 at 6:00 am

Jahlika is a 19 year old college student in New York determined never to let her past trauma or life circumstances define her. She has a strong work history and the goal of becoming a nurse.  Jahlika was recently awarded a hospital internship in conjunction with New Yorkers for Children.  Jahlika was selected for this prestigious opportunity from a pool of many candidates and received a certificate of achievement at the end of the program.  Because of her strong work ethic, Jahlika was then offered a paid internship.   


Jahlika’s wonderful personality, hard work, and perseverance to achieve a better future earned her an invitation to attend New Yorkers for Children Annual Gala. She was given an opportunity to wear a designer dress and shoes. She also had the opportunity to have her hair and professionally done.