January 2015 Youth Newsletter

Yo u t h N e w s l e t t e r
January 2015
The Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange is
a program of Judson Center and is funded by
the Michigan Department of Human Services.
Page 1 - Make dreams come true
Page 2 - You talked; we listened
Page 3 - Youth showcase talent
Page 4 - Calendar of events
Page 4 - Share your success story
To learn about foster care adoption and view
photolistings and videos of waiting children,
visit our website at www.mare.org.
— Kobi Yamada
Follow these steps to accomplish your dreams
written by
Michelle Parra, MARE Supervisor
his time of year a lot of people, kids and adults,
make New Year’s Resolutions that are easily
broken, myself included. I have decided to focus
this month on setting goals for myself that I can
actually stick with. Here are some tips on how to
set goals and accomplish them. Remember this:
A goal is a dream with a deadline.
— Napoleon Hill
So … why should you set goals? Setting goals can help
you stay focused and take control of the direction your life
is going. It also feels really good to accomplish a goal you
set, even if it’s a really small goal like waking up five minutes early every day. Accomplishing small goals can give
you the confidence to set bigger goals.
Step 1: Set a goal. What is something positive you
want to happen this year? Examples could be learning how to knit, how to play the guitar, improving your
grades, write your resume, get a job, save some money,
learn money management … A goal can focus around
your health: start exercising, eating healthier, learning
how to do yoga. Whatever goal you choose to set, make
sure it’s something you can achieve and that it’s specific
enough to where you will know when you achieve it. For
example, if your goal is to save money, be specific and
set a goal of HOW MUCH money. If your goal is to get
good grades, be specific and set a goal of what grades
you want to get in what classes.
Step 2: Now that your goal is set, make a plan for how
you will accomplish the goal. Write it out. You may want
to start small; for example, set a goal to turn in your homework every day for an entire semester and this will help
you accomplish your larger goal of getting good grades.
You will want to make a plan of HOW and WHEN you will
do your homework to make sure it’s done on time.
Step 3: Set dates when you will review how you are
doing on your goal. You can do this daily, weekly or
monthly, whatever you think is best. Remember, this is
your goal, so you can be in control of this. It is a good idea
to have a visual reminder of your goal so you don’t forget
to review it.
Step 4. NEVER GIVE UP! Don’t get discouraged if you
mess up or have a setback. Keep trying! The most important part is to keep trying and feel good about yourself for
It’s a new year and a new us, and it didn’t take a New Year’s resolution to get us
to change. When we asked for your feedback to rejuvenate
Life Books, gift cards and Match Party activities,
You talked; we listened
Match Party makeover
wanted more pizzazz in your party, so out go
the lame games that were too easy and not
much fun and in come the age-appropriate
activities for younger and older youth as well
as for both genders. One title we’re excited about is “Spikeball,”
which is sort of a way to enjoy beach volleyball without covering
an entire schoolyard while playing it. Then there’s “Icebreaker
Jenga,” a more interactive version of the classic game. Other new titles
include “Skip-Bo,” “Spot It” and “Would You Rather …?”
The prize is right
We also received some nice
prizes to match – see what
we did there? – your interests such as watches,
sunglasses, art supplies,
cards, basketballs, footballs and soccer balls.
With your feedback and
our responses to it, we
hope 2015 will be a great
year for Match Parties.
Yeah, we heard you
Get out those drawing implements and
that sketch paper. You said you wanted
more choices for the $10 gift cards that
you receive for each drawing or writing you send to us, so we added new
retailers such as iTunes, Five Below
and Target to the list that already included Walmart, Meijer and Barnes & Noble.
And if you don’t have fancy sketch paper, send in your
work on a paper grocery bag or some other paper. For details
on how to receive up to $30 in gift cards per month, see page 3.
Resuscitating the Life Book
Hey, it’s a play on words, but we’re dead serious here. As a matter of fact, a subcommittee was formed to update MARE’s Life Book, and several focus groups
throughout Michigan have met to improve the Life Book, which is designed as
a workbook/journal to document your journey throughout your time in foster
If you’d like your voice to be heard about the Life Book or any topic, we’d love to
hear from you. Please send your letters to Jen Brooks, 3840 Packard Road, Suite
170, Ann Arbor, MI 48108 or email [email protected]
And we will do anything we can to help!
Since he’s interested
in cars, Michael
takes to the road
Michael, 17
Cody gets creative
with the forever
family of his dreams
Cody, 15
If he could have
one superpower,
Cody says it would
be invisibility so
that he can use
it to joke around
with people.
if you are a youth and want to have your artwork or writing featured on mare, have your worker contact jennifer brooks by calling 734.528.2061
or by e-mailing jennifer _ [email protected] you can submit up to 3 pieces a month and receive a $10 gift card for each submission.
January 31, 2015
Wayne County Match
11 a.m.- 2 pm
Check the MARE website
for more details when
they become available.
For more information regarding
these events
please contact
Jennifer Brooks,
MARE Youth
Specialist: [email protected]
Fostering Success Michigan is seeking student stories to be highlighted
on their website!
We are currently seeking students who are interested in being featured
on our website. We have
all heard the statistics and
know about the obstacles
students face. This is an
opportunity for students
and professionals alike to
read the success stories
and learn about what
supports helped youth
succeed. The stories will be used as
a way to highlight students and their
If you know of any youth or alumni
of care between the ages of 18 and 24
who are currently enrolled
in high school or college,
we would love to hear
from them.
Contact Fostering Success Michigan Student
Researcher, Brittney Grant,
at [email protected]
edu to have the interview
questions sent directly to
your inbox.
We look forward to featuring youth
and alumni stories from across the
Foster Club - FosterClub is a national network for young people in foster care and
young foster care alumni. The site includes blogs from current foster youth, success
stories from youth who have come out of the foster system as well as celebrities who
faced foster care. It also provides a listing by state of contact information for professionals and hotlines.
M i c h i g a n Yo u t h O p p o r t u n i t i e s In i t i at i ve - MYOI is a par tnership between the
M ic h i g a n D e p a r t m e nt o f Hu m a n S e r v ic e s, t he Ji m C a s ey Yo u t h O p p o r t u n i tie s In i ti ati ve,
t h e O a k l a n d / L i v i n g s t o n H u m a n S e r v i c e s Ag e n c y, a n d m a ny o t h e r l o c a l c o m m u n i t y p a r tn e r s . M YO I ’s g o a l i s t o e n s u r e t h a t y o u n g p e o p l e i n f o s t e r c a r e h a v e s u c c e s s f u l o u t c o m e s
in housing, education, employment, community engagement and health.
Fo s t e r Yo u t h i n Tr a n s i t i o n - An organization that is geared towards youth who are
a g i n g o u t o f f o s t e r c a r e . I t ’s a c o m p r e h e n s i v e, y o u t h - o r i e n t e d s i t e w i t h i n f o r m a t i o n ,
advice, interactive features and a useful glossary of foster care terms. This is a website
with information on a variety of issues important to current and former foster youth.
The site provides links on how to develop supports, find services, get answers to imp o r t a n t q u e s t i o n s a n d j u s t k e e p y o u p o s t e d o n w h a t ’s n e w.
Camellia Net work - Camellia Network harnesses the power of new technology to
connec t youth “aging out ” of the foster care system with a communit y of resources,
o p p o r t u n i tie s, e nco u r ag e m e nt a n d s u p p o r t . Yo u t h h ave p r o f i l e s o n t he s i te, g i v i n g
them a place to express themselves, share their goals for the future and articulate
what they need to be successful. Individuals and companies from across the country are
able to collectively provide the support these young people lack by offering up doses of
encouragement, career advice, professional connections, and financial support to help
them navigate their way into adulthood.
For more information on getting involved with these organizations contact Jen Brooks at [email protected] or 734. 528.2061.