FosterClub is pleased to announce the addition of two new members of its Board of Directors, Nico'Lee Biddle of Pennsylvania and Cody Rivera of New York.
Nico'Lee Biddle is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Pennsylvania. Throughout her career so far, she has worked as a clinical psychotherapist with children and families whose lives have been impacted by the child welfare system. She currently works as a supervisor at A Second Chance, Inc, a kinship foster care organization based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In her role, she leads a team of both caseworkers and therapists who provide critical support to children in kinship foster families to enable them to thrive.
Biddle is a speaker and trainer in the fields of trauma and child welfare policy. Her speaking experience includes both panel and individual engagements focused on foster care and specifically the opioid epidemic. She has presented at the Pennsylvania Statewide Permanency Conference, the Pennsylvania Interagency Conference, Georgetown University, and at various events sponsored by Casey Family Programs. Her topics include traumatic brain development, understanding and working with birth parents, engaging foster youth, and transforming child welfare policy.
Biddle is also a voice for change in the present movement on improving foster care. She is a former council member of the National Foster Youth and Alumni Policy Council, a participant in Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day, and is an active member of FosterClub and Foster Care Alumni of America. Nico'Lee has written opinion pieces that have been published in the Chronicle of Social Change, Fostering Families Today, and Teen Vogue. She enjoys using her lived experience in conjunction with her professional experience to help children and families find places of safety, healing, and hope.
Cody Rivera is a graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Architecture. He is a currently a business partner with Hi-Zor Farm and is in partnership with New York State’s Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program under Governor Cuomo and Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. As a partner, Cody advances viability research, economic development, and the overall hemp market in New York State. Previously, Rivera worked at Bank of America - Merrill Lynch Wealth Management as a Financial Advisor/ Wealth Management Trainee until deciding to leave to pursue his industrial hemp processing business and other business ventures full time.
During his time at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Cody organized and led the Colleges’ first Foster Youth College Tour Program, for foster youth in Region 3 of New York State. In 2017, Cody and a team of eight student and two professor advisors conceptualized, designed, constructed, and launched a research payload into outer space out of NASA-Wallops Flight Facility, in collaboration with the Colorado Space Grant Consortiums RockSat-C Program. In this program, Cody also created a middle school outreach program that involved Geneva middle school students in the construction of the overall research payload.
Cody’s honors include: First generation College graduate and business entrepreneur; 2016 & 2017 President’s Civic Leadership Award; Druid Society’s Druid Award for Leadership; Key Speaker at Seamen’s Society for Children and Families Black and White Gala, where former President Bill Clinton was in attendance; Captain of Tottenville High School’s 2012 Lacrosse Championship team.
Rivera served as an intern for FosterClub in 2016, and has served as a spokesperson, participant, and advocate for FosterClub’s campaign launch of HR4998: Health Care for Former Foster Youth Act, in collaboration with national stakeholders and Representative Karen Bass (CA) and Senator Bob Casey (CA).
FosterClub is the national network for young people in foster care. Our mission is to lead the efforts of young people in and from foster care to become connected, educated, inspired and represented so they can realize their own personal potential and contribute to a better life for their peers.
Because being placed in foster care can be a chaotic and anguishing experience for a young person, FosterClub is dedicated to providing a peer support network for children and youth in foster care. Further, we believe that the experiences young people have in foster care place them in a position to affect change within the system, inform and motivate their peers, build public awareness and create public will for improved care for abused and neglected children.
FosterClub works to provide youth a voice within the system that so heavily impacts their lives. Whether advocating on their own behalf, in concern for siblings or family members, or speaking out on behalf of their 400,000+ peers currently in the system; our websites, publications, and events provide a youth-friendly network which helps the voices of young people to be heard.
FosterClub is committed to providing the tools, training and a forum to help young people secure a brighter future for themselves and the foster care system.