Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Fog 25° Fog
News >  Spokane

Mockingbird Society gives foster kids a voice in the system

William Mendoza talks about his experience in the state foster care system during a meeting of the Mockingbird Society in Spokane on Aug. 7. (Kathy Plonka)
William Mendoza talks about his experience in the state foster care system during a meeting of the Mockingbird Society in Spokane on Aug. 7. (Kathy Plonka)

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

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.