Alex McFarland is a young activist passionate about improving educational and workforce outcomes for foster youth. As an alumnus of Ohio’s foster care system, he leveraged his first-hand experience aging out to advocate and elevate the voices of youth in out-of-home care beginning at 17 years old. He served as president of Ohio’s statewide youth advisory board where he participated in the founding of Ohio Reach, an organization tasked with increasing the enrollment and retention of out of home youth into post-secondary education. He also authored Ohio's Youth Rights Handbook and successfully fought for it to be required to youth entering foster care. In addition to his volunteer roles, his professional roles include time with The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and FosterClub.
Alex graduated with honors from Miami University with a bachelor’s degree in biological anthropology and zoology. He is currently earning his doctorate in veterinary medicine at Colorado State University where he continues his policy and advocacy work as class president and a national delegate to the Student Veterinary Medical Association where he serves as chair of the Government Affairs Committee. He intends to pursue a residency specializing in zoological medicine where he hopes his career will allow him to elevate the voices of disadvantaged youth as future conservationists.