Shout Out to My State!


So coming straight from the Oregon Teen Conference to the California Teen Forum was intense, but also exhilarating! I was so pumped for this conference because we were going to my state. I knew that the youth at this conference were going to be amazing (I mean it's CA right?) but I also knew it was going to be a busy 2 days!

After driving 5 hours and getting set up for registration, the All-Stars got to meet all the ~200 youth by creating FosterClub IDs for each youth. I got to meet every youth and ask you all where you were from. I had a lot of fun and I hope you all get on the FosterClub website and become a member! I loved my Purple Tribe (Go Spartans!) and we definitely had a lot of fun during the Newspaper Fashion Show! Those costumes were so creative and amazing and I loved the little touches you guys added.

The next day was jam-packed with speakers, workshops and general sessions! I led T-Time, which focused on learning the resources youth need to transition out of care successfully. That was a lot of fun and I thank those who attended. I know there were a lot of exciting workshops to attend and I hope that you will use those posters we gave you! After lunch, we had the big general session of Independence City which was so much fun! My tribe was really good at getting rent to me (the landlord) the fastest and solving their obstacles using their resources. The prizes at the Mall went really fast and I hope you enjoyed those! Our All-Stars and Staff had a lot of fun shopping for those for you! Dots and Lines, the next general session, was kind of crazy, but definitely fun. We used spaghetti and mini marshmallows to create the biggest and tallest creation. My Tribe, the Purple Spartans (YEAH!) had the tallest creation. We made an Eiffel tower with our own spin on it. Great job to all tribes though. I saw some really creative structures. :D

The night ended with my favorite part of the whole conference! The Open Mic/Talent Show was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! Thank you all for being so brave to come up and share a special part of you. There were beautiful singers, awesome dancers, heartfelt poetry and some really funny little skits. I especially loved our little "Gollum" portrayed by a Spartan! :D California has some really creative and talented youth!

The last day was pretty short but just as important. The All-Stars sat on a Transition Panel where we answered some questions about our experience in foster care and other things. Because I had been MCing the whole conference, I had pretty much lost my voice by this point, but I still tried to answer. Afterwards, we had the slideshow with pictures from the past 2 days. There was music playing and it was a lot of fun laughing at the different costumes and making memories. I know I had a blast with all of you, even though I didn't get to talk to everyone, I really felt the energy and strength that you all possess. You have all gotten this far in your life and there really is Life After Foster Care! I believe in all of you and I am here if you need someone to listen.

Keep believing and reaching for the stars. It's ok if you don't know what you want to do with your life just yet. But know that there is a support system for you, and we are all listening. Email me at [email protected] if you need anything!

Until next time,
Kita :)