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Mockingbird Times - December, 2012

Mockingbird times 

Happy Holidays!

Making the Holidays Special

powericonPower of One
Deonate Cruz


Deonate photo The holidays are a time when family comes together for laughs, fun, and memories. But what happens when a youth doesn’t have a family, or when a youth doesn’t know their family?

Many foster youth spend numerous holidays longing for their biological family and wondering what it would be like to spend the holiday season with them. Would it be fun and memorable? Would they be complete?


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‘Tis the Season to be Jolly...

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Samantha McDonald


'Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la …” This is known to be a song people sing around the holiday season, but those impacted by the child welfare system or homelessness have a different perspective of the season. The holidays are supposed to be a time of happiness but for a child in foster care or a youth on the street it isn’t so jolly. Many children and youth in Seattle struggle during this time with trying to keep the spirit of the holiday. Youth on the streets are finding ways to stay warm because of the cold weather, and foster children battle the truth of being taken away from their biological families. This year Treehouse, YouthCare and Sleep Country are keeping these children and youth in mind.
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Letter From the Editor by Jim Theofelis

Jim Theofelis

Happy Holidays to you all!

On November 15th, The Mockingbird Society received Seattle CityClub’s first annual Colleen Willoughby Youth Civic Education Award. This award reinforces our belief that by giving youth and alumni of foster care opportunities for civic engagement and leadership development, we create strong citizens and effective policies for all children, youth and families including those impacted by foster care.

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A Night at the Seattle Symphony

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David Buck


On October 26th, the Network Team came together at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall to witness the Seattle Symphony’s second Sonic Evolution production. Sonic Evolution is a program designed to celebrate the past, present and future of Seattle’s musical heritage by performing compositions inspired by local artists and combining the old and the new in both a beautiful, and honorable, way.

The Network Staff was invited to attend the Sonic Evolution production through Community Connections, a Seattle Symphony program dedicated to expanding relationships with all members of our community, making the Symphony something that everyone, regardless of background, can be a part of. Needless to say we were delighted to accept their invitation.

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New Territory for Mockingbird Youth Network’s Advocacy Agenda

reformiconSystem Reform
Mandy Urwiller


This year, all six topics that were brought to the Leadership Summit were voted to move forward to our year-long advocacy agenda for 2013. For more information, click here.

Extended Foster Care

Currently, youth who age out of care have the option to stay in care until age 21 if they are participating in a secondary or post-secondary education program. Thanks to federal legislation, there is a 50% federal match available for all states that opt in to this program. We are asking for a full opt-in where any youth who ages out can be in extended foster care if they are part time employed, in a work-training program, or have a cognitive disability. We will be advocating for legislation expanding this important program along with the resources in the final budget necessary to fund it.

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Art in Action
Jerrica Long

 A young teenage girl goes into foster care. Hoping and praying her mom will get better. She wants to go back home to what she used to know. Though there was no childhood, she grew up to be strong. She wants to make a difference in life. Though she had no dad, she helps her mom when she can. And tells her she loves her and she’ll always be there. She’s in foster care but she doesn’t let that bring her down Foster care is at times tough but sometimes you have to look at the good in life and push the rest aside.  God closes a door and opens another. Things happen for a reason. But, known in your heart You’re brave and strong. You are a foster kid and have dealt with a lot Others don’t get you that fine but You’re changing your life because You’re done with the past.

Chapter Voice

The Mockingbird Network

system reformChapter



Olympia Chapter Educates South Sound High School by Miq’ueko Johnson


Region 3 South (Olympia) — On the morning of November 2, 2012, while the sun was rising, we started our day with asking the students of South Sound High School in the Thurston County School District if any of them had heard of The Mockingbird Society; no one raised their hand. Selona Willett, Chris Bauer and I gave a quick but engaging overview of the Youth Network, our annual events, legislative involvement, and advocacy efforts. We had laid out three different issues of the Mockingbird Times, Mockingbird Society brochures, upcoming opportunities to become involved, and our contact information for the students.

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Board Expansion Brings Change

reformiconSystem Reform
Samantha McDonald


The Mockingbird Society is excited about the recently expanded Board of Directors! The Board of Directors went from 7 to 20 members this year after an incredibly successful recruitment campaign! This expansion has given The Mockingbird Society a variety of capable leaders who will help increase the impact of our efforts to help children, youth and families.

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