Vol. 19, No. 2 May 2015
SaySo Turns 17
by Lauren Zingraff, SaySo Executive Director
SaySo celebrated its 17th birthday on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, NC. This yearly event, also known as SaySo Saturday, is our largest conference every year.
This year's theme was "Super 17: Family Reunion." It was a fantastic time!
SaySo Saturday is also our annual membership meeting. At this meeting young people break into their state regions and vote for the 2015-16 SaySo Youth Board of Directors to represent them on the state level.
The wonderful workshops at SaySo Saturday this year included:
- CFT -- What's In It for Me? -- Come and learn about child and family teams that are for you and all about YOU!
- Local Chapter Superstars -- Come learn how to create a local chapter with other powerful youth in your area.
- NC REACH/ETV -- Do you have hopes and dreams to attend college? Find out what financial support you have available to fulfill those dreams!
- Professional Trendsetters -- Come and learn how to look good, feel good, and be your best!
- Risky Business -- Your body is your temple. Come learn important tips about overall health and wellness.
Our keynote speaker was La'Ticia Nicole, and she was AWESOME! La'Ticia had us all laughing, crying, inspired, and encouraged. She reminded all of the young people that your past does not determine your future success. You can find out more about her at her website: http://www.laticiaspeaklife.com.
We also had several SaySo alumni return for the day. SaySo had a record-breaking 270 birthday guests this year. This was phenomenal and we are so thankful for everyone who came to celebrate with us. We look forward to turning 18 next year!
The SaySo organization holds several events throughout the year that are free for youth ages 14-24 who are or who have been in the foster care system. We encourage you to find out more on our website: www.saysoinc.org.
Another one of our annual events is SaySo Survivor. This is held at Camp Chestnut Ridge in Efland, NC. The young people spend Friday through Sunday at camp, working on building their resiliencies and identifying personal strengths. We focus on finding a word or statement that helps describe the youth's resiliency. Throughout the weekend we "Name It. Claim It. Use It. Share It."
Youth enjoy a campfire and horseback riding during this year's SaySo Survivor weekend.
In the next article La'Sharron Davidson, who is currently a SaySo Regional Assistant, shares her experience of attending SaySo Survivor.
SaySo, Strong Able Youth Speaking Out, is a statewide, North Carolina-based association of youth aged 14 to 24 who are or have been in out-of-home care. This includes all types of substitute care, including foster care, group homes, and mental health placements.
"To work to improve the substitute care system by educating the community, speaking out about needed changes, and providing support to youth who are or have been in substitute care."
Tel: 800/820-0001 (toll-free)
Email: [email protected]
~ Family and Children's Resource Program, UNC-CH School of Social Work ~