It is hard to imagine an event that better embodies youth empowerment and engagement than the annual Mockingbird Youth Leadership Summit. The Raikes Foundation has long supported the Mockingbird Society, in part because of the organization’s strong commitment to authentically incorporating the voices of young people into its programs and advocacy.
The Mockingbird Youth Leadership Summit brings together young people who have been in foster care, who have experienced homelessness, or both, and provides an important forum for them to present their proposals for improving the systems that serve these populations to policymakers. A staggering number of these proposals have become reality, through tireless research and reworking, and smart, strategic advocacy on the part of these young people.
Editor's Note: Washington's Office of Homeless Youth recently completed the state's first plan to solve youth homelessness. Casey Trupin - a program officer at the Raikes Foundation - chaired the office's advisory committee and helped shape this important new path forward for the state. He offers his thoughts on the plan and its significance in the letter below.
As Chair of the advisory committee for the Office of Homeless Youth, I am incredibly thrilled to have been part of the effort to shape and guide the development of this report.