Learning Session "E" - Tuesday April 26, 2022 
1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

Student Oriented Workshop

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E1     "I Don't Feel Like Talking." Showing Students How They Can Use Expressive Arts to

Support Their Self-Expression  - this session is geared towards Student Participants. 

The session D2 of this workshop is geared towards adult supporters. 

Christine Dennis, Lake Elsinore Unified School District, LCSW, PPSC, District Social Worker - Foster Youth Program


Students -  Join this immersive workshop where you will be guided through interactive projects to experience the effects of expressive arts firsthand. The arts are a diverse tool that can be used with different populations and cultures. Current research will be presented to explore the impact of using art to process trauma and support mental health. Expressive arts can be a valuable tool for you!  The arts are an internal process that does not require another person; making it a valuable method for you to use independently when you do not have anyone to talk to, or when you don’t know how to express and process how you are feeling. Two interactive activities will be facilitated during the workshop. The first activity will allow you to experience a creative writing activity and the second activity will be an art-based activity using paints. This workshop is open to all students and no prior art experience is required. 


E2     Building Resiliency & Positive Life Outcomes for Our Transitional Age Youth

Cherie Schroeder, Child Abuse Prevention Center / Woodland Community College, CA FYI Project Outreach Manager / Independent Living Program Coordinator

Tabitha Grier, Child Abuse Prevention Center, CA Foster Youth Initiative Project Manager

Robin Smith, Glenn County Office of Education, Foster, Homeless, ILP, & Drop-Out Prevention Coordinator

Shelby Anderson, Glenn County Office of Education, Lived Experience/AmeriCorps CA Foster Youth Initiative


CA Foster Youth Initiative (CA FYI) AmeriCorps service members are placed statewide in Offices of Education, Community Colleges, Community Based Organizations, Health & Human Service, Probation, and Foster Family Agencies.  Mentors serve young teens and non-minor dependents, foster youth from 12- to 21-years-old.  Service may include mentorship with academic engagement, such as providing tutoring, help and encouragement to complete the FAFSA, registering for classes, integrating a youth to campus, encouraging student service and leadership opportunities, along with organizing peer groups to encourage extracurricular activities, and/or providing a space for foster youth to advocate for themselves.  Mentors serve to help TAY develop the positive power of their own voice in court and CFT’s, working on financial literacy, Ansel Casey life skills, and promoting pathways to higher education, jobs and overall stability.  We will hear the voices of lived experience and interact with "cross the line" for building connectivity and understanding.

Tool Up with Case Management

E3     El Dorado County Summer Employment Program

Sheila Silan, El Dorado COE, FYSCP Program Coordinator

Jessica Belcher, New Morning Youth and Family Services Youth Specialist

Arturo Salazar, Fostering Connections, Social Worker      

Lori Hensley, Golden Sierra Job Training Agency, Business and Employment Specialist


We all know the benefits to youth who have been able to gain employment prior to aging out. Many Foster Youth in our county are not able to find work due to their many court related obligations, the fact that most jobs open to teens are far away from where our youth live, and the fact that there is almost no public transportation. Come learn how a small, rural county collaborated with many community partners such as CASA, ILP, and our community college to create a six week, thirty hours a week, paid summer internship and soft skills program. With leveraged funds and collaboration with our Tribe, the Department of Rehabilitation, and the Employment Development Department, we seek out internships outside of the traditional food service jobs that teens can find, instead we place them into county government and other local businesses. This gives youth an opportunity to feel more a part of the community and explore career paths that they may not have even been aware of previously.

E4     School Stability Data and Collaboration

Austin Preller, Director of Youth Support Services, Shasta County Office of Education

Liberty Van Natten, Education Research & Evaluation Administrator, California Department of Education

Renzo Bernales, Educational Programs Consultant, California Department of Education


School stability is vital for youth in foster care. Counties across California are working to keep their youth in foster care in their schools of origin to the greatest extent possible. In this session, learn about the new DataQuest Stability Report and how to use the report to better understand school stability for students across the state, and in counties, districts, and schools. Then, learn from one county how they are utilizing local data to dig deeper and learn even more about the stability of the youth they serve across multiple measures. Finally, learn how you can utilize interagency collaboration that is happening in every county right now though Children and Youth System of Care memorandums of understanding (AB 2083) to support local work around school stability.

E5     Champions for Success 

Lisa Rodriguez, Director of Student Services; Lavena Najera, Youth Services Liaison; Denise Westlund, Education Learning Advisor; and Roxanna Solorio, Education Learning Advisor

Kings County Office of Education


Youth in foster care face significant barriers to educational success due to frequent disruptions in their home and school placements. Join us to learn the step by step process on how Kings County Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program created and implemented “Champions for Success!”   Champions for Success is a project that builds connections and strengthens communication between the foster youth, school district liaison, child welfare social worker, school site social worker, school staff as whole, including administration, as well as teachers and the students' resource family. Re-engagement strategies, educational planning, best practices, and professional collaboration are provided to help increase graduation rates, ensure successful transition to post-secondary education, and career and vocational exploration while giving youth a voice at the table!

E6     Youth Peer Mentor Program: Expanding Experiences and Access to Substance Use Education

Joaquin Jordan, Continuity Consulting, Social Impact Consultant

Keith Aldrich, Continuity Consulting, President


 Continuity Consulting’s Youth Peer Mentor Program (YPMP) addresses California’s substance use crisis by providing substance use education to foster, transition age, and justice system-impacted youth across California. In collaboration with local partners, together we are able to provide the youth they serve with multiple, evidence-based services at no cost to them. Programs and services include “Mindfully Exploring Substance Use” – in-person and remote substance use prevention groups, “Natural High Retreats” -- youth adventure intensives for substance use prevention and recovery in Tahoe-Donner, California, as well as professional development -- peer mentor training, and substance use counseling education. In addition, collaborative partners have access to technical assistance, training and workshops on topics such as substance use and the brain science of addiction, trauma, ACEs, toxic stress, risk reduction, and mindfulness-based practices at no cost to their organizations. YPMP is funded by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) – State Opioid Response Grant (SOR) and designed and administered by Continuity Consulting.

E7     Tool Up with Case Management

Kimberly Thomas, Norco College, Student Resource Specialist/Part-time Faculty


Join us for a Student & Staff lead workshop to discuss an intrusive case management structure supported by Peer Mentors. The need for Case Management may not be evident at the college level, however, it is a powerful tool for supporting student success. A primary function of case management for the student is the staff’s ability to coordinate intervention and support efforts across campus and community systems for our at-risk students facing crises, experiencing life stressors, and encountering barriers that impede academic and personal success. In this workshop, we will share tools needed for effective case management for college students who have experienced foster care and how the program is supported by Peer Mentors. We hope you learn something new, have fun and get at least one tool to use.

E8 Making the Case for How to Improve Education Outcomes for California’s Youth in Foster Care 

Lyndsey Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, First Star Inc. 

Rashida Elimu, Director of Programs, Promises2Kids

Jessica Petrass, Associate Director of Education, John Burton Advocates for Youth

The Foster Youth Pre-College Collective (tFYPC) represents eight leading California-based member organizations united to close the educational opportunity gap for young people in foster care. The Collective includes six direct service organizations that have a combined high school graduation rate of 94% for students in foster care. In addition, 82% of foster youth served by member programs enroll in post-secondary education.  

Together tFYPC is exploring ways to expand equitable access to opportunities for youth in care to give them access to meaningful, engaging, educational support programming grounded in best practices and focused on achieving high school graduation and post-secondary matriculation rates that match or exceed those of their peers in the general population. 

This workshop will feature findings from the Collective’s research on promising practices and programs that have significantly improved academic outcomes for the state’s youth who have experienced foster care, and explore new opportunities for expanding these supports to benefit all young people across California in a sustainable way.

E9 Moving from Self-Care to Self-Love

Michelle Slade, Founder & Chief Strategist; Bethtina Woodridge, Associate Strategist; 

Cindy Aguilar-Castaneda, Assisting Strategist

C4 Consulting


Students will experience a variety of simple, yet powerful resources and tools that promote resilience and renewal that gets beyond widely promoted, common notions of self-care.