Cieria Rodiriguez Toney  spent 3 years in Ohio's Foster Care System

Cieria is an inspirational young woman who utilizes her personal story to help improve the system. As a young adult in Ohio’s foster care system, Cieria has faced many ups and downs. Despite what she has gone through while in care, Cieria has successfully transitioned out of care by graduating high school and currently attending Lorain County Community College. She has dreams of enrolling in the Police Academy and perusing a career in the field of law enforcement or a degree in law. While in foster care Cieria was elected as Vice President of Overcoming Hurdles, Ohio’s State Youth Advisory Board two years in a row, and was recently elected as the boards first female President. Cieria has effectively shared her foster care story over the years by participating in many transition panels for numerous organizations throughout Ohio. She supports the work of Ohio’s other local Youth Advisory Boards and often assists in facilitating of events for them. During some of her time in foster care, Cieria felt disconnected from her Hispanic heritage. Because of this, helping young people in the system maintain cultural identity is something she is very passionate about. In fact, Cieria is currently advocating for opportunities for Ohio foster care youth to reconnect with their culture during their time in foster care. Also, in 2010 Cieria also had the honor of being invited by Ohio’s Supreme Court Justices to present during a Judicial Teleconference on youth voice in court. Cieria also recently presented at the 2011 Hispanic Leadership Conference, and a statewide conference on engaging youth in sexual violence prevention.

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2011 Outstanding Young Leaders