Give up all your belongings and go sit by complete strangers – that’s foster care.
That’s the analogy William Mendoza uses to convey his experience as a foster child when he speaks to groups.
He entered foster care at age 10. Now Mendoza is advocating for youth involved in the state system so their experiences might be better than his.
Mendoza is a member of the Mockingbird Society, an organization dedicated to reforming the foster care system and helping homeless youth that’s headquartered in Seattle with chapters in Spokane, Yakima, Everett, Tacoma and Olympia.
The program gives foster children a voice, with members ages 13 to 25 meeting monthly to talk about how they can make a difference. Each year, members create proposals for legislation to help foster children.
Mendoza’s proposal focused on helping undocumented children become citizens.
Other proposals include providing more training for foster parents, reducing the number of teens placed in group foster homes, and involving former foster children in training foster parents.
– Jody Lawrence-Turner
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