Friday, June 12, 2009

Teen Leadership Development Series

Hi everyone! My name is Crystal Allen and I am the Center’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter for Southern New Jersey, as well as an Adoption Coordinator. One of my pleasures of my role is working with older New Jersey youth in foster care for the Center’s Youth Advisory Board and the Teen Leadership Development Series (TLDS).

The mission of the Youth Advisory Board is to empower youth in foster care to make positive decisions that will impact their futures. Adoption Coordinators meet with a group of 15 teens on a monthly basis to discuss topics such as, life skills, college and trade school preparation, coping skills, laws that affect youth, permanency and adoption.

An extension of the Youth Advisory Board is the Teen Leadership Development Series (TLDS). The objective of the TLDS is to provide NJ teens in foster care with an opportunity to build their leadership and communication skills to reach and educate the public about issues of teens in foster care.  The teens will be able to use their enhanced communication skills to (1) participate in a Speaker’s Bureau, addressing prospective adoptive parents, government officials, and adoption conference attendees or at meetings of groups involved in adoption (2) assume leadership roles at ACDV Match Parties (3) serve as facilitators for future ACDV training sessions for youth in foster care. 

Participants of the TLDS have already met with facilitator, Christopher Ridenhour, as part of a training to be Teen Leaders at the Center’s Match Party held on May 30th. Their next meeting will be held on June 30th, where they will meet with Dr. Chuck Williams, a graduate of the foster care system, to begin preparation for public speaking engagements.

If you would like information on the Youth Advisory Board, the TLDS, the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program or the teen participants, please do not hesitate to contact me at or 215.735.9988 Ext. 346.

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