Preparing Foster Youth for Adulting
Episode 018: Interview with Sixto Cancel from Think of Us (New York, NY)

Episode 018: Interview with Sixto Cancel from Think of Us (New York, NY)

August 21, 2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Sixto Cancel, CEO of Think of Us, an innovation focused organization based in New York City. Sixto and Lynn talk about some of the opportunities for improvement in the foster care system, the housing solution that Think of Us developed for older foster youth during the COVID-19 crisis, and more. 

Episode 017: Interview with Kellie Knox from Fred Finch Youth and Family Services (Oakland, CA)

Episode 017: Interview with Kellie Knox from Fred Finch Youth and Family Services (Oakland, CA)

August 8, 2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Kellie Knox, Senior Director with Fred Finch Youth and Family Services. Kellie and Lynn talk about the transitional housing program (one of many programs) that Fred Finch runs to serve foster youth, the challenges that they have faced and managed during the COVID-19 crisis, and ideas regarding things the system can do to improve its support of foster youth. 

 
 
Episode 016: Interview with Mary Kate Howard with CASA Youth Advocates (Media, PA)

Episode 016: Interview with Mary Kate Howard with CASA Youth Advocates (Media, PA)

July 13, 2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Mary Kate Howard, Program Director of CASA Youth Advocates serving Delaware and Chester Counties in Pennsylvania. Mary Kate and Lynn talk about the work that CASA does to advocate for foster youth, the details around training CASA volunteers, the challenges that they have faced and managed during the COVID-19 crisis, and things that the system can do to improve its support of foster youth. 

Episode 015: Interview with Chris Lopez and Robyn Parker with THRU Project (San Antonio, TX)

Episode 015: Interview with Chris Lopez and Robyn Parker with THRU Project (San Antonio, TX)

June 28, 2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Chris Lopez, Program Manager, and Robyn Parker, Program Outreach Coordinator...both with THRU Project, an organization based in San Antonio, TX. Chris, Robyn, and Lynn talk about the THRU Project mentoring program, as well as the housing program, which is run as a partnership between the organization and a project management company; the challenges that they have faced and managed during the COVID-19 crisis; and things that the system can do to improve its support of foster youth. (Our apologies for the audio issues as one of the guest recordings ended up being a bit choppy.)

 
 
AOI Episode 014: Interview with Kristi Perez, Founder and Executive Director of Inspire Life Skills Training (Corona, CA)

AOI Episode 014: Interview with Kristi Perez, Founder and Executive Director of Inspire Life Skills Training (Corona, CA)

June 16, 2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Kristi Perez, Founder and Executive Director of Inspire Life Skills Training based in Corona, CA. Kristi and Lynn talk about the Inspire Life Skills Training mentoring program, housing program, and Inspired Scholars higher education support program; the challenges that they have faced and managed during the COVID-19 crisis; and things that the system can do to improve its support of foster youth. 

AOI Episode 013: Interview with David Gurian, National Director of I Pour Life (Springfield, MO)

AOI Episode 013: Interview with David Gurian, National Director of I Pour Life (Springfield, MO)

June 7, 2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews David Gurian, National Director of I Pour Life based in Springfield, MO. David and Lynn talk about their LifeStrengths program, which is focused on coaching youth aging out of foster care, helping them build self-sufficiency in preparation for adulthood; the importance of starting their coaching program when the youth are younger (16 years old); the challenges that they have faced and solved during the COVID-19 crisis; and things that the system can do to improve its support of foster youth. 

AOI Episode 012: Interview with Dr. John DeGarmo, Founder of the Foster Care Institute and Never Too Late (Monticello, GA)

AOI Episode 012: Interview with Dr. John DeGarmo, Founder of the Foster Care Institute and Never Too Late (Monticello, GA)

June 1, 2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Dr. John DeGarmo, Founder of both the Foster Care Institute and Never Too Late in Monticello, GA. John and Lynn talk about Never Too Late, the residential program he started for young men aging out of foster care, the services he offers organizations, agencies and foster parents, some challenges faced by foster parents, and ideas to improve the foster care system.

 
 
AOI Episode 011: Interview with Amber Donovan, Founder and Executive Director of Community of Hope (Cleveland, OH)

AOI Episode 011: Interview with Amber Donovan, Founder and Executive Director of Community of Hope (Cleveland, OH)

May 23, 2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Amber Donovan, Founder and Executive Director of Community of Hope in Cleveland, Ohio. Amber and Lynn talk about Community of Hope's team-based mentor program designed to build lasting relationships and support youth as they age out of foster care. They also discuss how Amber and her mentor teams are helping their youth be able to manage through the current COVID-19 crisis.

AOI Episode 010: Interview with Kate Danielson, Executive Director of Foster Progress (Chicago, IL)

AOI Episode 010: Interview with Kate Danielson, Executive Director of Foster Progress (Chicago, IL)

May 17, 2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Kate Danielson, the Executive Director of Foster Progress. Kate and Lynn talk about their mentor program designed to help youth aging out of foster care achieve their higher education goals, college road trips for youth, training they conduct for adults working with and mentoring foster youth, and how they are helping their youth they work with be able to manage during the current COVID-19 crisis.

 
 
AOI Episode 009: Interview with Dr. Johanna Greeson, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)

AOI Episode 009: Interview with Dr. Johanna Greeson, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)

May 10, 2020

In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Dr. Johanna Greeson, Associate Professor and Managing Faculty Director of The Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Greeson shares the research that she has published regarding youth aging out of foster care, the program she has developed on natural mentoring, how important it is for organizations to be able to demonstrate that their programs are supported by research, and a current study she is involved in regarding the impact that the current COVID-19 crisis is having on youth aging out of the system.

 
 
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