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Episode 141 | CCAI Foster Youth Internship ® Program

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In this week’s episode of Fostering Change,  Rob Scheer talks with Angelique Salizan, Policy Director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCA), and with their summer Interns, all who are or have been in foster care: Stormy Lukasavage, Christina Parker & Ryan Young. CCAI hosts its annual Foster Youth Internship ® Program every summer- where young adults who have spent time in foster care come to DC and work on a policy recommendation for nine weeks. In addition to working on their policy recommendation that they present in front of Congress, the interns also work in a congressional office Monday through Friday. Stormy, Christina, and Ryan will all be touching on their policy focus during the podcast.

Angelique Salizan, Policy Director (she/her/hers)

 Angelique’s work in child welfare advocacy, policy, and reform dates back to 2013 when she participated in a New York State campaign advocating for support services for foster youth pursuing higher education with the Children’s Aid Society, a program that is still in existence today. Her advocacy efforts related to foster youth having access to education and workforce opportunities led to an internship and career working for the United States Senate as a congressional staff member. Angelique has a wealth of policy experience and is skilled in facilitation, community and outreach engagement, public advocacy campaigns, government, and constituent relations, and has been successful at coalition and capacity building among youth, personnel, and leaders in the child welfare community locally and nationally.

Angelique earned an associate degree in humanities from Sullivan County Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Binghamton University in New York as well as a Project Management Certificate from the Kent State Center for Corporate & Professional Development in Ohio. In 2020, Angelique completed a master’s in policy management from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.

Stormy Lukasavage, (he/him/his)

Stormy Lukasavage (he/him/his) is an established professional advocate from Topeka, Kansas who has experience working with FosterClub, National Association of Counsel for Children, National Foster Youth Institute, and the Children’s Bureau in the Administration on Children, Youth and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2019, Stormy graduated with his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in acting, the latter he studied in London. Stormy was the first Kansas participant in the prestigious FosterClub All-Star Internship and now works as part of the organization’s National Foster Care Youth and Alumni Policy Council by bringing his experience with the criminal justice system to the policymaking table. Currently, Stormy is planning to attend law school in 2023.

Christina Parker, (ze/zir/zis)

Christina Parker (ze/zir/zis) is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan School of Social Work where ze received a master’s degree with a concentration in political science in April 2022. Christina has been in service for over a decade to diverse communities who experienced the foster care system, juvenile justice system, and houselessness. Christina’s advocacy and passion for system change started with California Youth Connection (CYC), a foster youth-led organization that empowers communities to use policy, legislation, and advocacy to progress system change. Christina has also trained thousands of professionals in effective advocacy, used zir art in spoken word and photography to empower and explore complex topics, and has impacted millions through zir social media company, Everything College, which helps bridge the gap between accessibility and higher education by sharing important information on policies and resources with students.

Ryan Young, (he/him/his)

Ryan Young (he/him/his) is a child welfare advocate, consultant, and author with lived experiences from Arizona’s foster care system and as an adoptee from his birth country of Ukraine. Ryan has devoted himself to public service, advocacy, and consultation in reforming the child welfare system through local, state, and national efforts. Ryan is the current President of the Arizona Department of Child Safety’s (DCS) Youth Empowerment Council. Governor Ducey recently appointed Ryan to serve on the Council on Child Safety and Family Empowerment in addition to the National Foster Care Youth and Alumni Policy Council. Ryan is pursuing a degree in Political Science at Phoenix College as a Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy and AFFCF Scholar. He plans to continue his studies at Arizona State University to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Public Service and Public Policy with a concentration on social service delivery in fall 2023.

Watch Full Interview:

Story Key Notes:

  • About the annual Foster Youth Internship ® Program 
  • The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI)
  • Policies underway in DC

You can find out more about the CCAI Interns by visiting:

Website: https://www.ccainstitute.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theccai

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cca_institute/?hl=en

Twitter :https://twitter.com/ccainstitute?lang=en

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCAINSTITUTE

Learn more at https://www.comfortcases.org/