Tag Archive

The Teen Toolbox 2013 Accomplishments & Achievements

Published on January 1, 2014 By Nicki Sanders

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

National Adoption Day 2013

Published on November 22, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

Saturday, November 23, 2013 is National Adoption Day.


National Adoption Day is a collective effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children and teens in the United States foster care system awaiting permanent families.


Ever year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, communities of parents, judges, and child advocates join together to celebrate adoptive families, finalize adoptions, and encourage others to get involved.


This annual, one-day event has made the dreams of thousands of children come true. In total, National Adoption Day helped nearly 44,500 children move from foster care to a forever family.


This year the National Adoption Day Coalition expects 4,500 children in foster care to be adopted on National Adoption Day, on November 23, 2013.


Get involved in an event in your community. Click here to find an event near you.


National Adoption Day


Nicki Is Building A Team

Published on November 20, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

If you are a Facebook user you have probably read a few interesting things about your Facebook friends in the last week. I read the “game” updates that appeared on my timeline but had no desire to join the game so I didn’t comment. Then a friend posted a powerfully transparent status that sucked me in. I replied and she assigned me the number 8 this weekend. I had to play fair and write 8 things about myself. I have written three blog posts about myself fairly recently so I started there. I referenced the blogs in numbers 1-3 and made sure not to repeat any “life” details in 4-8.


Today, I thought I’d share my life with my blog community (again). Here we go…


  1. Eight Things About Nicki (blog)
  2. What Am I Afraid To Tell You (blog)
  3. I Told My Daughter She Can Change The World (blog)
  4. I doubt that my humility has always served me well – especially in business. I need to sit with that for a minute.

8 Things I Never Said

Published on August 9, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

It’s Back To School Time! Many young people are excited to return to school.  They want to catch up with their friends and favorite teachers and show off their new back to school gear.  Other students start the school year with a bit of apprehension.  Children and teens in foster care are often unsure when or where they will start school and that can be terrifying. Frequent moves, emergency placements, and lost paperwork are often to blame.


Here are 8 things I never said as a student:

  1. My academic records haven’t arrived and school started last week.
  2. It gets old being the new kid again and again.
  3. A seasonal clothing budget from the state isn’t much cause for school shopping enthusiasm.
  4. I don’t want to tell these strangers my whole life story.
  5. This is my second time in this grade.
  6. They didn’t cover this in the math class at my old school.
  7. I forgot which bus will take me home.

End Child Abuse Prevention Month With Your Signature

Published on April 30, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

Today is the last day of Child Abuse Prevention Month and I want to offer you an additional way to get involved to support the protection and safety of children.


Ressurrection Graves created Ten Ways to Safeguard Your Child from Sexual Abuse and has implemented a new trademark S.A.F.E.G.U.A.R.D.S.® as the acronym for the ten ways. This prevention curriculum and lecture seminar is taught to professionals, pastors and parents.  As a part of the legislative process, Ressurrection has created a petition on change.org entitled, Make Child Sexual Abuse Grooming A Felony.


The purpose of the petition on Change.org is to:

1.    Protect children from Child Sexual Abuse Grooming also called Premeditated Child Sexual Abuse.

2.    Clearly define what child grooming actually is, by introducing the terms Child Sexual Abuse Grooming and Premeditated Child Sexual Abuse.

3.    Ensure that the pro-pedophile movement which seeks to relax child sexual abuse laws will be thwarted and in fact this law will facilitate appropriate prosecution for deliberate offenders.

How Can Foster Care Lead to Adult Homelessness?

Published on March 11, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

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 am honored to have been featured as a foster care expert in an article in The Washington Informer titled “Many Homeless Adults Start their Journey in Foster Care”.  You can read the article here.

Below is information about teens in foster care that I was unable to share in the short article but feel you definitely need to know if you seek to understand the link between homelessness and foster care.

  • Children and teens in foster care have experienced trauma.
  • Every year approximately 20,000 young people “age out” of foster care without a permanent family.
  • Teens in foster care are more likely to be placed in institutional settings like group homes instead of living in a foster home with a foster family.

What Would You Like to Read?

Published on February 4, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

Happy first Monday in February! We ushered in 2013 with excitement about living on purpose and the enthusiasm continues. 


As you know, The Teen Toolbox blog and services have been dedicated to supporting youth in foster care and raising awareness about the needs and potential of teens at rick of aging out of the foster care system without a permanent family.  We have decided to increase our blogging schedule to three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) this year and want to be sure we are writing what you want to read.


Would you please read the following foster care blog posts (over the next couple days or weeks) and provide feedback on what you learned, what else you would like to know about teens in foster care, or questions about how you can get involved and support teens in foster care. 


Feel free to comment about the blogs on the pages of the blog posts below if you are inspired to do so, however, please email or inbox any questions or suggestions related to recommended blog topics for 2013.  THANK YOU!!