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Mockingbird Times - January, 2013

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Happy New Year!

A Legacy to Remember

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Diamonique Walker


Deonate photoDenise Revels Robinson joined the Washington State Children’s Administration team in October of 2009 and has since taken a very prominent role in transforming this state’s child welfare system for the better while always keeping the focus on the children that are affected by the system. Denise has served over 40 years aiding the transformation of many states’ child welfare systems. At the end of this month, Denise will officially retire from her professional career as Assistant Secretary of DSHS. I feel quite privileged to have been able to conduct an exit interview with Denise to inquire about her future plans, words to her successor, most memorable moments through her work and more.


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Seattle University Students Join Advocacy Efforts

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Samantha McDonald


Network RepresentativesOn November 14th, 2012, students from Seattle University’s Executive Leadership Program visited The Mockingbird Society to speak with Network Representatives. As part of their Master of Business Administration program, one of their main assignments for school is to identify a social injustice in the community that they can engage with and contribute to its mission in a unique and sustainable way. These students are working professionals from a variety of different companies, including Boeing, Microsoft, Swedish Medical Centers, Expeditors International, Paccar and Transact.


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Letter From the Editor by Jim Theofelis

Jim Theofelis

Happy New Year! After an amazing 2012 The Mockingbird Society is poised to make 2013 another great year in our efforts to empower children, youth & families, and advocate for youth-inspired solutions.

On January 14th, the Washington State Legislature will convene for the 2013 Legislative Session, facing yet another difficult budget situation. As the recovery of our economy continues, the state faces an approximate $1 billion revenue shortfall. This, coupled with a State Supreme Court decision calling for an increase in funding for our public schools, means the legislature will likely have to deal with $2 billion in deficits and new costs. Despite these challenges, we have developed an ambitious advocacy agenda that will improve outcomes and reduce costs while transitioning thousands of children, youth, and families from relying on state services to being stable and strong taxpayers. Our top legislative priorities for 2013 include:

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Tacoma Youth Support Students

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Tianna Oliver


Tacoma Community College staffThis holiday season students who attend Tacoma Community College, Bates Technical College or Pierce College and are in the Passport to College program will be getting a special surprise. The youth from the Mockingbird Youth Network’s Cour’Ige Chapter made special care packages during the November Chapter meeting. The packages contained treats, some school supplies, Mockingbird Times issues, and ways to get involved with the local Chapter. Making and delivering the packages allowed us to feel connected to young people from foster care that are making it in college. We wanted the Passport students to also get a well-earned treat, as the students in the program must maintain a 2.5 GPA, keep in contact with the Passport program support staff, and fully follow program expectations.


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The Mockingbird Society and Facing Foster Care Join Forces

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Daniel Martinez & Mandy Urwiler


FFCA youthOn December 7-9, 2012, I was able to take  part in the Peer Technical Assistance  (TA) event held at Cedarbrook Lodge in  Seattle, WA. Chapter leaders and Network  Representatives from The Mockingbird  Society (TMS) met with members of Facing  Foster Care in Alaska (FFCA) to develop a  relationship and help each other out in the  best way possible. I was excited to learn as  much as possible about the event because I  had no idea of what the outcome would be.  It was my first event as a chapter leader so  I was excited to learn as much as possible.  The first day started off with a meet and  greet with the two organizations. After all  the introductions we moved onto dinner,  which was absolutely delicious, and into  our evening social activities. Many card and  board games were made available to us and  we ended up having an exciting and very  competitive game of Texas Hold’em. As we  called it a night we were able to enjoy the  beautiful facility of Cedarbrook Lodge. The  rooms and scenery were amazing and I  don’t think any of us could’ve asked  for a better stay.


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Art in Action
By Jasmin Esters

My priority
My priority is to be myself.
My priority is to be the best I 
Can be.
My priority is to succeed in life 
My priority is to help myself
I help others. 
My priority is to be a leader not a
My priority is to have respect for
My priority is to think about the
Consequences of my actions.
My priority in life is to keep
Real positive.

Casey Family Programs and Year Up Work Together

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Mandy Urwiler


Year up

Are you looking for a career? Have you aged  out of care? Well, a great opportunity  awaits you!

Year Up is a program that  allows young adults to  have a paid internship  and hands-on training for a full year, learning  their way around working in corporate settings  like Google, Microsoft, and REI, Year Up  students start with 6 months of classes in IT  and professional skills, followed by a 6 month  internship, and will earn 18 college credits. If  you are 18-24, have a high school diploma or  GED, and are low to moderate income, you very  well may qualify for their program.


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Chapter Voice

The Mockingbird Network

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Spokane Chapter Awaits Arrival of New Resource Specialist

Region 1 North (Spokane) — The Spokane Chapter is in a time of transition and we look forward to meeting our new Resource Specialist soon. We have still been continuing our work as leaders in the Spokane community and as advocates for building a world class foster care system.

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