Thank You, Chicago!

All young people should be active participants in directing their lives and shaping their communities. This approach, known as authentic youth engagement, works only when young people and adults join together as true partners. To that end, in early August 2014, nearly 450 of the nation’s leading policy makers, youth advocates, researchers, grant makers and practitioners participated in the National Summit on Authentic Youth Engagement, presented by Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Attendees spanned a variety of disciplines including education, employment, finance, housing, health care, and child welfare and shared best practices, participated in more than 35 breakout sessions, and focused on authentic youth engagement during the Summit’s two days.

Plenary session speakers and panelists included Leonard Burton, Chief Operating Officer, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative; Mark Courtney, Affiliate Scholar, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago; Kirk Crow Shoe, Program Director, First Nations Repatriation Institute; John Gomperts, President and Chief Executive Officer of America’s Promise Alliance; Tracy Hoover, President, Points of Light; Patrick McCarthy, President and Chief Executive Officer, Annie E. Casey Foundation; Katrina Mitchell, Program Officer, Andrus Family Fund; Dr. Steve Perry, Founder and Principal, Capital Preparatory Magnet School; Bonnie Politz, Senior Youth Advisor, Creative Associates International; Bryan Samuels, Executive Director, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago; Gina Samuels, Associate Professor, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration; Paul Schmitz, Former Chief Executive Officer, Public Allies; Andy Schneider-Munoz, Jim Casey Initiative Consultant; Liz Squibb, Senior Associate Director, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative; Gary Stangler, Executive Director, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative; and Judy Vredenburgh, President and Chief Executive Officer, Girls Inc.; and Jim Casey Initiative Young Fellows: Samanthya Amann, Michael Peno, Jr., Crystal Williams, Noy Worachit, and Gernani Yutob, Jr.

Summit attendees gained a deeper understanding of the emerging best practices for authentically engaging young people and considered the application of those practices across various systems and settings; explored the fundamental changes that are necessary within and among youth-serving systems in order to ensure that young people are truly leading efforts to improve their own lives and the lives of their peers; discussed ways to elevate a national agenda to promote policies and practices that support authentic youth engagement; earned Continuing Education Credits from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration; and more.

The event was sponsored by the Andrus Family Fund, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Marguerite Casey Foundation, and The Walter S. Johnson Foundation.

The Jim Casey Initiative would like to thank our sponsors, speakers, panelists, facilitators, workshop presenters, and Summit participants for making this event a success, and for their commitment to improving the lives of young people.

  • OUTCOME: a Permanent Family

    Connect each young person with a permanent family or committed, caring adult by the time they leave foster care.

    Make it happen
  • OUTCOME: Racially equitable services/Supports

    Make sure each young person leaving foster care has racially and ethnically equitable services and supports.

    Make it happen
  • OUTCOME: A Stable Education

    Provide a stable education and postsecondary opportunities for young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood.

    Make it happen
  • OUTCOME: Opportunities for Economic Success

    Create opportunities for economic success for all young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood.

    Make it happen
  • OUTCOME: a place to live

    Provide safe, affordable housing to young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood.

    Make it happen
  • OUTCOME: physical and Mental Health Care

    Provide access to physical and mental health care for young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood.

    Make it happen
  • OUTCOME: Young People Shape Their Future

    Make sure young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood get to shape their own futures.

    Make it happen

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Success Beyond 18 PSA

National Foster Care Month:

SIXTO CANCEL WITH Katie COuric

We are so proud of our Young Fellow, Sixto Cancel, who tirelessly advocates for his peers in foster care. Sixto appeared on The Katie Couric Show last week as part of a special segment for National Foster Care Month. He was terrific!

Watch

JIM CASEY INITIATIVE LAUNCHES NEW FOSTER CARE EFFORT IN MISSISSIPPI

On July 18, 2014, a group of 30 young people in the Mississippi foster care system released Mississippi Youth Voice, a set of recommendations designed to help the state take a more youth-centered approach to designing foster care services.

Read the report

When I entered foster care I was hurt, I was angry, I was frustrated and I was quiet. I thought I was the only one going through something. But I learned that caseworkers care, strangers care, and the young people on the youth leadership board—they care about me.

—Jasmine

JIM CASEY YOUTH OPPORTUNITIES INITIATIVE 222 South Central Avenue, St. Louis MO 63105-3509