Co-hosted by former foster youths Arielle, Gabriella, and Rachel, The Lens Podcast project provides a platform for foster youth and alum to connect to a community of peers and discuss aspects of the child welfare system. Learn more and listen to full episodes here!
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Arielle is a sophomore at Wayne State University studying communications. She is involved in the CHAMPS program, was one of two youth MDHHS sponsored as a FosterClub All Star in 2019, and has been a The New Foster Care (TNFC) Youth Ambassador since November 2018. As a TNFC Ambassador, Arielle has served on numerous student panels, testified in front of a House Hearing Committee in relation to Fostering Futures Scholarship, and has represented Foster Success Michigan (FSM) nationally at the Grantmakers for Education Conference in New Orleans in October of 2019. She is the current FSM Student Ambassador for 2020 and has written policy-focused blogs for the FSM website.
Gabriella likes to focus on staying positive, motivated, and always trying to see the better half in all situations. She understands that most people only see things in black and white, but she likes to waddle through the grey -- yes, it does exist! She believes that we experience so much in our lifetime, particularly the youth of today. Young people who have experience in foster care no longer have to feel like no one understands what it's like; Gabriella does! She's seen, heard, and experienced it too. She would like to reach the youth who are like her, and she like them. "We're in this together!" is her mantra. Gabriella knew what the statistics would label her, so she decided to label herself first! Staying positive and motivated pushed her to be better and to do better throughout great trials and tribulations.
Rachel's experience in care has inspired her to pursue a career in child welfare advocacy and policy, and is currently pursuing her BSW in Social Work. She recently completed her term as the 2019 Student Ambassador for Fostering Success Michigan and is a current TNFC Ambassador, as well as sitting president of the Youth Advisory Board for Our House--a Washtenaw county-based nonprofit dedicated to helping young people transition from foster care to adulthood. Rachel is incredibly passionate about revolutionizing child welfare to lessen the barriers that foster youth and alumni of care face and enhance their experience within the system as a whole. Her current focus areas include identity, engagement, and mental health.
Fostering Success Michigan is a program of Educate Tomorrow that aims to increase access and success in higher education and post-college careers for youth with experience in foster care. Learn how you can contribute to building a holistic network that insulates (i.e., strengthens protective factors and reduces risks) the education to career "pipeline."Make a Donation