DCYF 9TH Annual Teen Conference
On Thursday Fedcap partnered with the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families to host a Youth Conference at the University of New Hampshire. By all accounts it was a resounding success. 130+ youth from throughout the state attended, as did their foster parents, group care providers, social workers and probation officers. Phyllis Willis, our Washingtonians for Children College Coordinator, delivered a powerful Keynote Address and afterwards adults and youth alike flocked to her side to let her know how much her words inspired them.
Following the keynote, a team of Fedcap staff facilitated five breakout sessions to ensure youth were prepared for the afternoon Connect2Careers™ event. The youth were engaged and participated enthusiastically in these readiness sessions, expressing their interest in careers in which they were familiar; social work, law, child care.
Following, thanks to the support of the Office of Minority Health and Refugee Assistance and the incredible work of Fedcap team member Linda King, 45 career representatives joined the youth in the Connect2Careers™ event. The energy in the room was palpable as youth went from table to table in speed dating fashion, asking questions and learning about careers they had no idea existed. Following the event youth said that they “changed their minds” about their future, expressing interest in computer programming, electrical engineering, forestry, graphic design and more. Clearly the event did what was intended…opened the eyes of young people in care to career options they had no idea existed. Here are some of their comment
“This was so cool, I felt like adults really listened to what I had to say…”
“I had no idea there were so many things you could do …”
“I feel more hopeful about the future than I have in a very long time…”
After the event, we talked to representatives from the Division for Children Youth and Families (DCYF), career representatives and youth and the feedback was universally positive. Specifically, over 30 of the career representatives agreed to sponsor High-Impact Internships! Below are a few of their comments:
“This was a fantastic event, I was so glad to have the chance to talk with these young adults about my career. I would like to continue to find a way to help them.”
“This event was eye opening…changed many of my impressions of these youth…very impressive young people.
“I loved hearing the enthusiasm of these young people, they were very interested, respectful and well prepared! I would be pleased do something like this again.”
Rob Rodler, who oversees youth in transition at DCYF shared this…”From what I observed and heard, Connect2Careers™ was a huge success. Several of our providers came up to me to remark that it was the best thing we have ever had at the conference.”
Congratulations to Dr. Roque Gerald and the Fedcap Educational Practice Team for their great work!