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Mockingbird Times - April, 2013

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Introducing Mockingbird’s Homeless Youth Initiative Program

homeless iconHomeless Youth Initiative
Mandy Urwiler


As many of you know, The Mockingbird Society works with youth and young adults who have experienced foster care and homelessness. Something most of you probably don’t know is that we have never had a designated employee who specifically works with the homeless youth population here in King County, until now.

After almost 12 years since the organization was first started, we have a Homeless Youth Engagement Specialist. We have also begun a new pilot program that will specifically cater to our homeless youth population, called the Homeless Youth Initiative (HYI). The new program will be similar to our current Mockingbird Youth Network, but the major differences will be that the HYI will be for homeless youth and their specific concerns rather than mostly foster youth and alumni, and it is only in King County. Since this is a pilot program, the design of the program is going to be shaped as we figure out what works best.

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Andrus Family Fund Transitions Training

transitions iconTransitions Training
Diamonique Walker


The Andrus Family Fund is able to provide grants, training of their framework, and continuous support for organizations like The Mockingbird Society to develop Transitions Trainings for youth that are aging out or have already aged out of foster care. The training is targeted to youth but it is honestly something that anyone can incorporate into their lives because everyone is constantly going through transitions in everyday life.

The Transitions Framework theory was written by William Bridges, author of Managing Transitions. Based on his book definition of a transition is “the emotional process that people experience when they come to terms with change as transition. From this framework there are four main phases when it comes to a transition. 

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Letter From the Editor by Jim Theofelis

Jim Theofelis

Dear Friends:

Happy spring! As we move into the home stretch of the legislative session in Olympia, our youth-inspired priorities maintain strong support in what is turning out to be another year filled with difficult choices for our elected leaders.

With the legislative session scheduled to close at the end of April, we hope legislators can continue to work together to avoid a third straight year with an extended session. In order to achieve this, the Governor and both chambers of the legislature must agree on a budget proposal. In addition to supporting our policy priorities Extended Foster Care (SB 5405) and Sibling Visits (SB 5389), we call on our elected leaders to ensure the final budget invests in positive outcomes for our children, youth and families.

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Seattle Chapter Youth Attend the Seattle Symphony

powericonPower of One
Mona Abbi

Youth Advocacy Day

On March 17, 2013, me and two other Seattle Mockingbird Chapter Members, Nicholas Holcombe and Montrai Williams, attended the Seattle Symphony with Courtney Millan, Seattle Engagement Specialist, at Benaroya Hall.

“This is my first time to the Symphony,” said Montrai Williams. “I’m glad to have been given the opportunity.”

The program was about Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations, with a multimedia presentation, narration, actors, and live music from the Seattle Symphony, all introducing an animated, imaginative, and brilliant composer.

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Meet Our New Engagement Specialists

powericonPower of One
Deonate Cruz

Katy lukas

The Mockingbird Society welcomes Katy Lukas as our new Engagement Specialist for Mockingbird’s Homeless Youth Initiative (HYI). Katy is from Seattle, WA and graduated from the University of Washington’s School of Social Work in 2006. During her time with the University of Washington, Katy interned with the Welfare Rights Organizing Coalition, a coalition made up of families that receive welfare benefits and advocate for the rights of welfare recipients, and she also volunteered with the Sanctuary Art Center, a center geared towards helping street youth. After graduating Katy worked for Friends of Youth, where she was a case manager for homeless youth and young adults, ages 15-22. In 2008 Katy moved on to Job Corps — a free, residential high school completion and vocational training program, where she was the Admissions Counselor and she was in charge of helping youth find the right direction that they needed.

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Devour — Jill Nance


Art in Action
By By Jill Nance
and James Murphy

Devour — Jill Nance

You sit upon your ivory throne,

Built up high upon skulls and bones.

Blood of the weak pool at your feet

Far to much to say and to many afraid to speak.

You’ve Built up your castle

On the backs of those you treated like cattle.

Within your Dark delirium life is a blur,

Forget about those who lifted you from where you were.

Only when this illusion Ends

You search and realize

you have destroyed all your friends.

Every cry and every Plea rush back to you and now you see,

Blinded by power Its the one’s most

Beloved you were first to devour.

The sweetest scent has now turned bitter,

Once the most beautiful rose now left to wither.

A Mellow Wind — James Murphy

A chanting tune full of torture

A period of silence, left after.

A tune that defies the silence,

An evening of fun and laughter,

Here To un-balance the fear in or world compared to none.

Then to hum again in the waking silence

A non malevolent process, hence;

The world will know this tune:

Free from fear,

Do not worry darling, I am here.

Never did you see,

The way the waves, carried out, sought this world to be.

Never did you know, the sway of the wind

As it hummed in melody, a soft mellow mend,

Chapter Voice

The Mockingbird Network

system reformChapter


My Journey to Getting My Juvenile Records Sealed by Daniel Martinez

danielmartRegion 1 South (Yakima) — As foster youth we are faced with many more challenges and barriers than those who were not raised in foster care. My personal challenges mostly revolved around the Juvenile Justice System. As foster youth, our mistakes generally are seen as more severe since we suffer from being under the microscope of the system. I made a lot of mistakes growing up, just as we all do, but maybe we didn’t deserve the severe consequences. For instance you may be late getting home and your biological parents may call and see what is going on. In the system a youth in care is considered a ‘run away’ in that scenario and a police report is then filed and legal consequences arise. My numerous mistakes not only affected me while I was in care, but also after I aged out. It affects many aspects such as work, living, and career options. I have not been involved in the justice system since aging out which I believe speaks for itself

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