I know it’s looked a bit drafty in here lately, but there are a lot of good things going on at Minds On Fire behind the scenes.
1. My Emerging Leaders are beginning to come into their own this summer. I’m consciously making the effort to hand over the reins to them slowly but surely. The first step is moving away from the role of sole organizer. Every time one of them says “You know what would be good…?” or “We should call a meeting to talk about this,” i respond, “Email the group!” or “Call a meeting!”
2. The Emerging Leaders and I are fixing to launch an advocacy campaign mid June. We are working with a stellar videographer who is just in love with all of them and is committed to getting their voices out in an authentic way. Each young person has a message for what he or she would like to voice to the public, to decision-makers, and to youth currently in care about their experiences in the foster care system. They will knock your socks off. Seriously. All the video, social media, PR, and events work will be new to me, but between the Emerging Leaders and our videographer/media professional Meg Kelly, I feel confident we won’t make a total mess of things.
3. We’ve started doing real U/X work on Game Plan. My interim CTO and my super duper tech intern are relieving much of my anxiety around building a technology platform. I’ve also pulled in a couple of friends in the foster care space who are willing to humor me by pretending to be young people going through the Game Plan module on self care. We went through the onboarding process last night after running through a condensed version of the self care workshop I did with the Emerging Leaders. It went a lot better than I anticipated, but that’s material for another blog post.
4. I’ve been invited to be on the Foster Youth in Action Planning Committee for New York State. I admire the work of Janet Knipe and her commitment to youth-led initiatives. She is just such a pleasure to talk to and I look forward to working with her, my fellow committee members, and the young people who are ready to work for real legal change in NYS.
5. I’ve assembled an informal work group to re-envision transitional support services for young people aging out of care. This is something I’ve had simmering on the back burner for months and months. Over one weekend last month I bumped into two fellow Wesleyan folks who independently happened to mention similar concerns and interests. I took the synchronicity as a sign that we may really be onto something with this big idea we are all dancing around.
Friends, colleagues, and readers, I’m pledging to get this blog back on track after a very difficult spring. Thank you so much for sticking around and reading.