Personal Campaign

Meagan Tuhy Wendt

Meagan is gathering $1,000 to

Celebrate 100 Outstanding Young Leaders From Foster Care

I am an active board member of FosterClub and I am asking my friends and family to donate to support 100 Outstanding Young Leaders (OYL) -- unique to this organization, really, there is nothing like it! These youth were nominated and now it is time to award them and spread their stories of resilience! LET'S DO THIS TOGETHER... I PLEDGE TO MATCH YOUR DOLLARS up to $1000! As you may know, my sister is a foster parent. Her boys came to her family when they were 11 and 13. They came without a toothbrush, without a phone number to call for help, without knowing what the future held. She navigated the foster care system on their behalf and began the non-profit FosterClub, a national network for foster kids, a place where kids mentor kids, self advocate, and gain information and resources they need as they move into adulthood. She had those brothers until they aged out of foster care and they are both still a part of her family. Since then, her family has grown with many more kids coming through her home. FosterClub works with hundreds of youth every year to create a team of young leaders that can speak on behalf of youth coming through the foster care system -- who better to ask how the system is working and what it needs? Through trainings, published writings, public speaking, youth engagement, personal growth, and national exposure the young leaders have changed policy and often changed life in foster care for thousands of kids. Meet the OYL's from last year at • Tiffany from Oregon was awarded a 2012 OYL because she strives to "get involved on the political side of the system to ensure decisions are being made with the well-being of foster youth in mind". • Samantha spent 19 years in Pennsylvania's foster care system. She is a 2012 OYL becasue she is a member of Juvenile Law Center's Speakers Bureau and uses her voice to inspire foster youth, professionals, and policy makers. • Michael spent 7 and 1/2 years in Missouri's foster care and was awarded a 2012 OYL for putting his education first — he is an MBA student. Please help me reach my goal! And don't forget matching gifts from your employers. To learn more about FosterClub, THANK YOU

Meagan's progress

$900 donated
$1,000 Meagan's goal

Personal Campaign

Marci McCoy Roth

Marci is gathering $1,000 to

Celebrate 100 Outstanding Young Leaders From Foster Care

About five years ago, I worked on a national policy campaign to reform the foster care system. I spent a lot of time with child welfare experts and researchers, policymakers and advocates. But it wasn't until I read some of the personal stories shared by young members of FosterClub that I truly understood how lost many children and youth feel when it's not safe for them to remain in their birth family and they end up in foster care. I heard dozens and dozens of youth share how it felt to never see their younger sister again, having to move schools, not being able to go to friend's house for a sleepover, and feeling like THEY had done something wrong. These FosterClub youth came to Washington to advocate for change. They spoke with courage and strength in many settings to make the case for reform: before groups of hundreds and in the offices of some of the most powerful politicians in the nation. And together, they helped change a gigantic, bureaucratic system for the better (the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act passed in 2008). FosterClub has helped create a youth-led movement to support children in foster care and those who have left. FosterClub youth directly train youth in foster care through state leadership conferences. Each summer, a small group is selected for intensive leadership training at the FosterClub headquarters, and these young leaders continue to advocate on behalf of their "brothers and sisters" in foster care when they go back to their home states. They speak out for the hundreds of thousands of children in care who are waiting for a safe, permanent family. In doing all this, FosterClub teaches young people how to find their voice, and supports not only their advocacy efforts, but also their overall journey to becoming adults. FosterClub provides information about what children's rights are in foster care, and connects youth with information and resources to help them transition to adulthood more successfully. This campaign, the 100 Young Leaders campaign, celebrates the youth and young adults who have donated their time to make things better for children still in care. FosterClub currently is able to reach about 35,000 children and youth currently in foster care, or recently released from care. But there are nearly 400,000 children in foster care today who could benefit from the information and support that FosterClub provides. I hope you'll join me in donating to this wonderful organization, for which I'm honored to be on the board of directors. Thanks for considering it. Together, with these inspirational young people, we can do better.

Marci's progress

$225 donated
$1,000 Marci's goal

Personal Campaign

Schylar Baber

Schylar is gathering $500 to

Celebrate 100 Outstanding Young Leaders From Foster Care

My entire life I felt like an outsider looking in on a world that didn’t seem to notice me. I grew up in the Montana foster care system after being removed from my abusive biological family. I went through 11 foster homes, two groups homes, a children’s home….and countless respite providers (weekend homes, when the family and the child need a break). I was a statistic, and not really a good one. I had no direction, lots of unresolved trauma and issues from care, and I needed to find myself. In 2005, my life and world changed forever. I applied for a FosterClub All-Star position, and I was chosen! I was sent to Seaside Oregon where I was educated, mentored, and allowed to express myself. I put my emotions, experiences, and knowledge together with 9 other interns from across the country – the one similar factor we all had in common was the foster care system. Besides that, all of us were different. We had different life views, various levels of trauma, some had lots of placements and others only one or two – the list can go on. I traveled the country speaking to foster youth, social workers, state departments, and politicians from across country. I literally worked with thousands of people from 2005 and on. While I was the one teaching, I often ended up being the one taught. I learned that my story (as bad as it was), had value. I learned that as a person, I have value. Most importantly, I learned that I was not alone. Half a million children are currently in the US foster care system or about to enter it – still experiencing some of the same abuse, neglect, and trauma. I realized that I had a duty to my foster brothers and sisters to speak up, act out, and take action. Myself, along with many others, worked hard with Pew Charitable Trust and other partner organizations to create true change at the federal level. We launched into a national campaign to reform foster care and provide opportunities for my foster brothers and sisters to not only have a chance, but also hopefully succeed. The Kid’s Are Waiting campaign was successful and culminated with the passing of unique legislation in 2008. For the first time in my life, I was part of something much bigger than me – but I was a part of making a difference. I was fortunate enough to be one of the first generation of National Outstanding Young Leaders in 2008. This achievement pushed me forward in life, passion, and understanding. When I was an All-Star, my hope was “to be the voice and light for those in care, that often felt that they were alone in a dark world.” I achieved this – and now it is time to pass the torch. I ask that you join me in helping other youth from across the country be recognized for their hard work and dedication to improving the lives of their peers in the foster care system. Please donate today – help us move the next generation forward!

Schylar's progress

$150 donated
$500 Schylar's goal