As part of its efforts to create supports and resources for youth aging out of foster care, the York County Foster Care Collaborative (YCFCC) regularly holds events for youth in care attending college in southern Maine or who are hoping to attend college in the near future. The events are casual and meant to provide youth the opportunity to meet and connect with other youth in care, learn more about the supports available on college campuses, and most importantly HAVE FUN!
This year the Collaborative held the College Kickoff Get Together on September 21st at Ferry Beach State Park in Saco. It was a chilly day, but everyone bundled up and enjoyed the afternoon. The event started with lunch followed by several speakers:
- Representatives from the University of Southern Maine (USM) and York County Community College (YCCC) spoke about each campus and the resources and supports that are available to students.
- Dulcey Laberge, Youth Transition Specialist from DHHS, reviewed how ETV funds may be able to be used to support youth in college. Dulcey encouraged youth to talk with her directly about accessing ETV funds. For more information on ETV funds contact Dulcey at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Michael Augustine, a graduate student from UMO, spoke about his efforts to start a Foster Care Alumni Association Chapter (FCAA) this year here in Maine. A number of youth at the event volunteered to help Michael develop the Maine Chapter. To help get the Maine FCAA chapter started contact Michael at Michael_Augustine@umit.maine.edu
- Finally, Joshua Calcia updated everyone about the We Care Care-Packages’ initiative. Applications for care-packages were distributed to students and everyone was encouraged complete the applications that day. This initiative is funded through a mini grant from the Maine Youth Transition Collaborative (MYTC) to provide college students and youth in care thoughtful care-packages. If you would like more information about this opportunity please email Janalee at email@example.com
Stephanie Gerard, a student who is also a resident assistant @ USM led the group in fun, but challenging teambuilding activities. The activities were chosen because they mirrored the changes and obstacles that students in care experience as they navigate college.
You can see from the smiles in the pictures that there was plenty of fun and laughs to go around! For more information on the York County Foster Care Collaborative, contact Ahmen Cabral at 228-8548 or firstname.lastname@example.org