Tuesday, May 5, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Foster youth team advocates for others in care

By
From page A1 | July 29, 2013 |

FAIRFIELD — Tanya Ortega just graduated from high school and is beginning college in the fall.

She is also working.

As a foster youth, the 18-year-old has bucked the statistics that show fewer than 60 percent of foster youths graduate from high school and fewer than 5 percent finish college. Fewer than 50 percent are employed.

At age 8, Ortega’s mother surrendered her and her siblings when she couldn’t care for them after the father left two years prior. When Ortega was 10, her mother’s parental rights were terminated. She harbors no grudges.

“I wasn’t mad at my mom,” she said. “I understood she couldn’t support us. I was actually mad at my dad for leaving us.”

In elementary school, she was left contemplating life without a mother. She was scared, she said, but still felt what her mother did, she did “for the best.”

Her story is one of several that make up the foster youths and former foster youths involved in the Youth Action Team, which is part of the Independent Living Skills Program and First Place for Youth.

“The Youth Action Team is the voice for other foster youth,” Ortega said as she sat in one of the offices of the First Place for Youth building on the corner of Travis Boulevard and North Texas Street. Group members help their peers and they also work with foster parents, social workers and anyone interested in learning about foster youth.

“They put together a presentation and go out and talk to adults in the community who work with foster youth,” said Tiffany Puckett, the Independent Living Skills program supervisor. A lot of focus is on understanding and communicating with the youths, she  said.

As she sat in the office, Ortega was getting ready to participate in a meeting to discuss the graduation ceremony Youth Action Team conducted recently. Members laughed and joked during the meeting, showing a clear bond that only they could understand, given what life had given them. They also prepared for a life skills workshop they were putting on at the Solano County Office of Education for foster youth.

“Everyone comes from different paths in life,” said Jacquie Hernandez, 18. “I think it’s cool how we get together and try to improve things.”

Part of the presentations they give involve opening up and telling their stories. They give their views on what it’s like to be in foster care, so others can better understand their struggles. They’ve opened up to varying degrees, but all said the initial step in telling their story was a tough one.

Ortega tells her story mostly with ease. Hernandez, not so much.

“I haven’t told it yet but I’ve kind of used examples,” she said. “In a sense, I’m scared. I just kind of want to let it go . . .”

Susan Harris, the education advocate for First Foundation/Independent Living Skills Program, said Hernandez is still living her story.

“Not only is she going through (it) but she’s trying to educate and shed light on the whole process,” Harris said.

Harris said being part of the Youth Action Team shows participants they have a voice and can advocate for others based on their experiences.

“We’re able to support them in finding their voice,” she said.

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

2 hurt in Fairfield freeway crash

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5, 8 Comments

 
Vacaville prison riot prompts lockdown

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

 
Vacaville police announce training at outlet stores

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5

 
Solano marks Mental Health Month during May

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
Western Railway Museum plans special events

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Comedies, dramas, documentaries hit screens this weekend

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Caltrans announces work on Highway 160

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Caltrans outlines work on Highway 29

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
 
 
 
.

US / World

 
Ex-Christie allies plead not guilty in bridge case

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Assembly approves ban on Redskins school team name

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
‘Exceptional’ NYPD officer dies from gunshot wound to head

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments | Gallery

 
CalFire chief seeks to change discipline after scandal

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

California drought leaves 12 million trees dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
Study: Cutting carbon dioxide saves 3,500 US lives a year

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
GOP field grows: Longshots Fiorina, Carson launch their bids

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Accused Texas gunman well-known to FBI before attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Britain’s new princess can’t expect fairy-tale life

By The Associated Press | From Page:

A name for Britain’s new princess: Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Carson, Fiorina won’t change 2016 election

By Jonathan Bernstein | From Page: A11, 3 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: May 5, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Internment art to be displayed at California museum

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Take the mad out of money with these tips for couples

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
North America’s tallest peak opens for climbers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Huge SoCal waves lure surfers, crowds to beaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

.

Entertainment

Obama jokes about a future playing dominoes with Letterman

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Boxing match pops up on phones as TV habits change

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

‘Star Trek’ actress Grace Lee Whitney dies at 85

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Bruce Jenner in spotlight for 2 ‘Kardashians’ specials

By The Associated Press | From Page:

‘Avengers’ sequel soars to $191.3M

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
The Muppets to team up with several YouTube stars

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
New McCullough book celebrates the Wright Brothers

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Blues legend B.B. King resting at home in Las Vegas

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
TVGrid May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Local Report: Baseball, tennis, swimming, football

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Cruz hits 14th HR, Hernandez pitches Mariners past Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Bumgarner pitches Giants past Padres for fourth straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Griffin’s triple-double lifts Clippers over Rockets 117-101

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Hunter backs Hughes with 3-run HR as Twins top A’s 8-7

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Pacquiao could face disciplinary action for shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Brewers win in Counsell’s debut, 4-3 over Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rose, Gasol pace Bulls to 99-92 win over Cavs in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Canada, US, earn 3rd straight wins at ice hockey worlds

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Murray wins BMW Open for 1st clay-court title

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

FIFA to study Israel-Palestinians dispute on election day

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Earnhardt back in victory lane and happier than ever

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Rory McIlroy: Holding the top ranking, wearing the crown

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Warriors’ Stephen Curry voted NBA’s MVP over Harden, James

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

 
.

Business

 
China factory index shows fastest deterioration in a year

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Airlines bring in more money from bag, reservations fees

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
General Motors will invest $174 million in Kansas plant

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Greece to lobby EU, ECB for swift loan payout

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
AP source: Goldberg died after collapsing in gym

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Supreme Court will hear appeal over energy regulation

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Dow Chemical to trim about 3 pct of global workforce

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
US stocks gain, pushing market back to record levels

By The Associated Press | From Page:

US factory orders rise in March for first time in 8 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Buffett again defends lending standards at Clayton Homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
McDonald’s challenge: Make it simpler, but add choices

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C. May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Peanuts May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie May 5

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4