Text of Georgia EmpowerMEnt “Nothing about us, without us”
Georgia EmpowerMEnt Nothing about us, without us
EmpowerMEnt was founded by and created for those of us who are in the process of transitioning from foster care. It is a youth-led, youth-focused advocacy movement (with strong adult support and community partnership) tailored towards training and empowering our brothers and sisters in foster care to influence and change the way policy is written and administered through our eyes, and informed through our experiences. EmpowerMEnts motto is, nothing about us without us. EmpowerMEnt serves as the Youth Engagement Strategy within the Georgia Youth Opportunities Initiative.
The origins of the Initiative began in 2002, when a national foundation, the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative (Jim Casey) invited leaders in Georgia to partner in a metro Atlanta-focused effort to test a theory of change that would result in better outcomes for foster youth in the metro Atlanta area. This effort became to be known as the Metro-Atlanta Youth Opportunities Initiative (MAYOI). Between 2006 and 2007 MAYOI released a request for vision proposal to identify a community partner with shared values and philosophy of youth-adult partnership. The Multi-Agency Alliance for Children (MAAC) was chosen by MAYOI and Georgia EmpowerMEnt was born.
Identify educational barriers that students in foster care face Authentic engagement from the perspective of youth with foster care experience Emphasize support & resources for the educational needs of youth in foster care
Multiple placements moves often can result in change of school setting Higher education is expensive. Youth in care lack family support or adults who can help pay for their tuition costs and fees Federal financial assistance may not cover all costs associated with higher education, such as housing, transportation, etc. Georgias foster care youth lack supportive services or on-campus programs once they are enrolled at a college or university
Fewer than 20% of eligible youth in care go on to higher education compared to 60% of youth in the general population; very few will obtain a bachelors degree In 2010, 43,000 Georgia teens ages 16-19 were not enrolled in school and were not working In 2010, 208,000 young adults ages 18-24 were not enrolled in school, were not working, and had no degree beyond high school In 2013, 300 children exited foster care to emancipation in Georgia; 198 students graduated from high school and 34 from a college or university Fall 2013 school year, 200 students in college received Education Training Voucher support from DFCS
Octavia Fugerson 22 years old Currently pursing Masters of Education in Gifted & Creative Education at UGA I did other peoples homework, but did not do my own homework.
Terry Carter 22 years of age Currently studying International Business and Finance at Georgia Gwinnett College
Yessenia Lopez 19 years old Currently working on her GED My caseworkers did not listen to me about where I wanted to be placed at was important to me.
Xavier Southwood 18 years of age Currently working on GED and Job Corps I did the best in school when I was in foster care because people cared about what I did and if I was successful.
*House Bill 272 Independent Living Program Educational Programming, Assessment and Consultation (E.P.A.C.) Parents Educating Parents & Professionals (PEPP) Job Corps Georgia Youth Opportunities Initiative Individualized Development Accounts (IDA) Orange Duffel Bag Initiative Nsoro foundation Foster Care to Success formerly the Orphan Foundation
Listen to the youth Mentor a current and/or former foster youth Start a Scholarship specifically for foster care youth Launch college support programs specifically for foster care youth Advocate for foster care legislation, such as the lack of implementation of House Bill 272 (O.C.G.A. 20-3-660) Create opportunities for foster youth Youth Advisory Board Job shadowing/career exploration
Shaquita Ogletree email@example.com (404) 880-9323 Multi-Agency Alliance for Children (MAAC) Georgia EmpowerMEnt 100 Edgewood Ave. Suite 810 Atlanta, GA 30303 Check out our website: www.georgiaempowerment.org