Preparing Foster Youth for Adulting
Episode 036: Interview with Miriam Connolly from Blavin Scholars (Ann Arbor, MI)

Episode 036: Interview with Miriam Connolly from Blavin Scholars (Ann Arbor, MI)

June 15, 2021
In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Miriam Connolly, LMSW, with Blavin Scholars at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. They talk about Miriam's background as a social worker in the foster care system, the services that the Blavin Scholars program provides youth aging out of foster care, and ideas to improve the way the foster care system prepares youth for aging out. 
Episode 035: Interview with Natalie Chavis Fisher (Indianapolis, IN)

Episode 035: Interview with Natalie Chavis Fisher (Indianapolis, IN)

May 30, 2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Natalie Chavis Fisher from Indianapolis, Indiana. They talk about Natalie's work as an attorney in foster care and adoption law, as well as a novel she has written, a documentary being developed, and a television show - all focusing on adoption and aging out of foster care. They also brainstorm solutions that the foster care system could implement that would help youth be better prepared for aging out of care.

Episode 034: Interview with Natasha Doan-Motsinger and Alyssa Silletti from Our House (Ypsilanti, MI)

Episode 034: Interview with Natasha Doan-Motsinger and Alyssa Silletti from Our House (Ypsilanti, MI)

May 19, 2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Natasha Doan-Motsinger (Executive Director) and Alyssa Silletti (Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator) from Our House in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Natasha, Alyssa, and Lynn talk about the variety of services that Our House provides to help prepare youth in foster care for independence. Their services include mentoring, teaching life skills, providing transitional housing, piloting a temporary host home model, and helping youth build resiliency. 

Episode 033: Interview with Sarah North Wolfe from Dawson Community College (Glendive, MT)

Episode 033: Interview with Sarah North Wolfe from Dawson Community College (Glendive, MT)

May 6, 2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Sarah North Wolfe, Dawson Promise Coordinator and Interim Dean of Enrollment at Dawson Community College in Glendive, Montana. Sarah and Lynn talk about Dawson Promise's services supporting youth aging out of care throughout their time as a student at the community college, which includes assistance applying to the college and for financial aid, a summer bridge program before their first year, academic and mental health support, and other services to ensure student success. 

Episode 032: Interview with Tammy Spence from Second Shift (Alabaster, AL)

Episode 032: Interview with Tammy Spence from Second Shift (Alabaster, AL)

April 18, 2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Tammy Spence, Founder and Executive Director of Second Shift based in Alabaster, Alabama. Tammy and Lynn talk about Second Shift's many services for youth aging out of care, their "host home" transitional living model; opportunities that could improve the foster care system, and more.

Episode 031: Interview with Jordan Bartlett and Denae Esteban from Doing Good Works (Irvine, CA)

Episode 031: Interview with Jordan Bartlett and Denae Esteban from Doing Good Works (Irvine, CA)

March 31, 2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Jordan Bartlett (Co-Founder) and Denae Esteban (Research Intern) from Doing Good Works based in Irvine, California. Jordan, Denae, and Lynn talk about their organization's for-profit, social enterprise model; the 10/20/30 structure that enables financial support, mentoring, and employment for youth aging out of care; and more.

Episode 030: Interview with Rob Scheer from Comfort Cases (Rockville, MD)

Episode 030: Interview with Rob Scheer from Comfort Cases (Rockville, MD)

March 16, 2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Rob Scheer, Founder of Comfort Cases based in Rockville, Maryland. Rob and Lynn talk about Rob's own experience in foster care, the mission of Comfort Cases to eliminate the use of trash bags as suitcases in the foster care system, the importance of providing dignity and hope to youth in care, and more.

Episode 029: Interview with Whitney Gilliard from Gilliard and Company (Pooler, GA)

Episode 029: Interview with Whitney Gilliard from Gilliard and Company (Pooler, GA)

March 3, 2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Whitney Gilliard, Co-Founder and CEO of Gilliard and Company based in Pooler, Georgia. Whitney and Lynn talk about Gilliard and Company's transitional housing and mentor programs for youth in transition (age 18 to 21), their "Haven Room" for youth entering foster care or between placements, how the program has continued working with youth during the COVID-19 pandemic, and more.

Episode 028: Interview with Patricia Holland from All Things New, Inc. (Raleigh, NC)

Episode 028: Interview with Patricia Holland from All Things New, Inc. (Raleigh, NC)

February 16, 2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Patricia Holland, Founder and President of All Things New, Inc. based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Patricia and Lynn talk about the All Things New coaching program for foster youth (both those still in care and those who have already aged out), local partnerships to help foster youth achieve their life goals, how the program was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and more.

Episode 027: Interview with Greg Rapport from Age-Out Angels (Columbus, NJ)

Episode 027: Interview with Greg Rapport from Age-Out Angels (Columbus, NJ)

February 5, 2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Greg Rapport, Founder and Executive Director of Age-Out Angels based in Columbus, New Jersey. Greg and Lynn talk about Age-Out Angels' mentoring program for foster youth (both those still in care and those who have already aged out), how the program was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new partnership with a local community college to help foster youth get caught up educationally, and more. 

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