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The 4th Annual Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Experience was incredible. Over 60 youth from foster care ascended Capitol Hill and left lasting prolific, dignified impressions. 

Created in 2011, The Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Experience brings foster youth and policymakers to the same table. Over the course of three days, Shadow Experience participants attended young leader training focusing on federal foster care policy, strategic sharing and team building exercises. The Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Experience concludes with the foster youth participants shadowing Congressional Members. This allows the youth to share their #FosterYouthVoices, giving the Representative well-rounded understanding of the experiences of youth in foster care, which will help as they pursue policies that impact all foster youth. 

Highlights of the 2015 #DCShadowDay:

Rep. Karen Bass

First day of training...

  • Shadows were welcomed by U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) Co-Chair of The Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth.
  • They were also entertainingly inspired by White House Foster Care Youth Champion of Change and Executive Director of Corporate Citizenship & Social Responsibility for Disney|ABC Television Group, David Ambroz.
  • Shadows participated in Icebreaker Activities, White House Preparation, Federal Government Structure & Process, Strategic Sharing, and Social Media training.

Tuesday, May 19th, the Shadows...

Jimmy Graham

  • Attended the Foster Care Youth Champions of Change ceremony on the ground of the White House. More about #WHChamps.
  • After the ceremony, Shadows were escorted into a special meeting room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building where they met Seattle Seahawks and former youth from foster care Jimmy Graham. Number 88 led the youth in an informal Q&A and took several “selfies.” 
  • It was then back, to the Capitol Visitor’s Center via photo op in front of the White House.
  • Shadows participated in Federal Child Welfare Policy, Topic Groups and Mock Member Visits. After dinner, the Shadows had free time to explore the city and visit the monuments. 

Wednesday was the third and final of #DCShadowDay and the biggest one yet!

  • Shadows met at the Cannon Caucus Room in the Cannon House Office Building, ate breakfast and awaited the arrival of their Congressional Members and Staff. All morning, the Shadows escorted their Congressional Members to committee hearing, press events and meetings all over Capitol Hill. Some even getting shout outs on C-Span. More importantly, Shadows had the ability to share their #FosterYouthVoices directly to Congressional Members in effort to improve the foster care system for the benefit of their peers. 
  • They day ended with the 2015 Foster Youth Shadow Experience Luncheon. Watch the video...

Watch the 2015 Foster Youth Shadow Experience Luncheon


District of Columbia
Feb 9, 2016 By FCJessica