Preparing Foster Youth for Adulting
Episode 046: The Level Up Virtual Conference for Youth In and Aged Out of Foster Care

Episode 046: The Level Up Virtual Conference for Youth In and Aged Out of Foster Care

November 28, 2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Amanda Ricken Simonetta with The Felix Organization, Trinity Bailey with Music is Unity Foundation, and LaTasha Watts with The Purple Project to learn about the upcoming Level Up Conference for youth in foster care and those who have aged out (ages 14-24). This virtual conference is being held on December 11th starting at 11:00am EST. Listen to find out more about these organizations, the conference itself, and how to register for this beneficial event. 

Episode 045: Interview with Cheryl Williams with Fundamentals for Foster Care (Austin, TX)

Episode 045: Interview with Cheryl Williams with Fundamentals for Foster Care (Austin, TX)

November 14, 2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Cheryl Williams, Founder and President of Fundamentals for Foster Youth based in Austin, Texas. Cheryl shares her own experience as a youth in foster care, the focus of her organization's mission to send STEM (and art, making it STEAM) toys to youth in foster care and to build in a scholarship program in the future, and much more.

Episode 044: Interview with Jamerika Haynes-Lewis with Clever Jam Communications (WA)

Episode 044: Interview with Jamerika Haynes-Lewis with Clever Jam Communications (WA)

October 16, 2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Jamerika Haynes-Lewis, Founder of Clever Jam Communications based in Seattle, Washington. Jamerika shares her own experience growing up in foster care, how she leveraged her success in pageants as a platform to help youth in foster care, what she offers as a workshop facilitator with youth, and more.

Episode 043: Interview with Miriam Cobb with the Empty Frames Initiative (TX and NC)

Episode 043: Interview with Miriam Cobb with the Empty Frames Initiative (TX and NC)

October 3, 2021

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Miriam Cobb, Founder and Director of the Empty Frames Initiative based in both Texas and North Carolina. Miriam shares her experience studying government care systems in other countries, how her organization has supported youth by teaching story telling through photography, the residential program that she is planning in the future, and more.

Episode 042: Interview with Debbie Ausburn, Foster Parent and Author (Woodstock, GA)

Episode 042: Interview with Debbie Ausburn, Foster Parent and Author (Woodstock, GA)

September 19, 2021
In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Debbie Ausburn, social worker turned lawyer, foster parent, and author from Woodstock, Georgia. Debbie shares her experience as both a foster parent and step-parent, and also discusses some key lessons she has learned - especially working with older foster youth - that she has captured in her book, Raising Other People's Children.
Episode 041: Interview with Joann Taijala from Home Grown (Eureka, CA)

Episode 041: Interview with Joann Taijala from Home Grown (Eureka, CA)

September 6, 2021
In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Joann Taijala, Founder and Executive Director of Home Grown in Eureka, California. Joann and Lynn talk about the organization's unique host home model in which volunteer hosts provide temporary housing in their own homes for youth facing homelessness, including those aging out of foster care.
Episode 040: Interview with Dr. Natalie Ellington with Eileen & Callie’s Place (Kent, WA)

Episode 040: Interview with Dr. Natalie Ellington with Eileen & Callie’s Place (Kent, WA)

August 19, 2021
In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Dr. Natalie Ellington, Founder and Executive Director of Eileen & Callie's Place in Kent, Washington. Natalie and Lynn talk about the organization's mentoring program for young ladies aging out of foster care, their goal of opening a transitional living house, why letting these young people make their own choices is so important, and more.
Episode 039: Interview with Samantha Baldassari with C.B. Community Schools (Philadelphia, PA)

Episode 039: Interview with Samantha Baldassari with C.B. Community Schools (Philadelphia, PA)

July 25, 2021
In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Samantha Baldassari, Postsecondary Coordinator with C.B. Community Schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They talk about how C.B. Community Schools provide academic and support services for older foster youth, the school's unique model that focuses on competency rather than grade levels (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior), and how they managed through the Covid crisis. 
Episode 038: Interview with Daniel Crandall - Foster Parent, Speaker, & Trainer (Nolensville, TN)

Episode 038: Interview with Daniel Crandall - Foster Parent, Speaker, & Trainer (Nolensville, TN)

July 12, 2021
In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Daniel Crandall, who is a foster parent, speaker, trainer, and Creative Director with a passion for helping youth to create the future they love. Lynn and Daniel talk about the journey that brought him to helping foster youth, the future focus of his work with youth, and the importance of helping young people find hope and meaning in their lives.
Episode 037: Interview with Jamie Pfau from Peace for All of Us Homes (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Episode 037: Interview with Jamie Pfau from Peace for All of Us Homes (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

June 29, 2021
In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Jamie Pfau, co-founder of Peace for All of Us Homes in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. They talk about the transitional housing program that she and her husband started during COVID, the state of foster youth support in Canada (particularly in Manitoba), and ideas to improve the way the foster care systems in Canada and the USA prepare youth for aging out. 
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