Foster Care Unplugged has developed partnerships to empower and support the many youth currently in foster care. Below are the active projects we are currently working on. For inquiries on how you can get involved with active projects and/or develop new ones, please contact us. All ideas and proposals are welcomed for review.
SLAY THE RUNWAY II FASHION SHOW
HeartShare St. Vincent's Services and Foster Care Unplugged teamed together to bring the second annual fashion show. The Fashion Show Fundraiser will be an event lead by former and current foster care youth, who will collectively be active participants in the show. Current foster care youth will undergo a six week training workshop which will prepare them for the runway, by being taught basic runway walk techniques, and self confidence. There will also be a built in youth enrichment empowerment workshop component lead by former foster care youth Melody Centeno, NYS Licensed Master Social Worker experienced in group therapy, and motivational speaking. Upon completion of the training workshops, a public fashion show fundraiser event will held to display skills acquired. Community volunteers from the fashion industry will provide clothing and make up to youth as a way to celebrate Foster Care Awareness. The show will take place in May in honor of National Foster Care Awareness Month.
Playtime worldwide & Foster Care Unplugged team up for a game night with the youth in honor of National Foster Care Awareness Month.
Nypd Vs youth basketball game at Saint Francis college
2016 rising star award
Melody Centeno receives Rising Star Award and supports Heart share Saint Vincent's services in raising $340,000 to send foster care youth to college.
LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENT: SOCIAL ACTION
Foster Care Unplugged has been working with local and state politicians to develop a Bill that will help reduce the likelihood of homelessness and poverty for youth aging out of foster care. This Bill will help to develop a trust fund that will offer alternatives to such challenges by allowing youth to have more concrete housing and career options.
NY STATE SENATE BILL S7720 :
Introduced by Senator Kevin Parker of the 21th district in Brooklyn, NY, this Bill is in
relation to establishing a program for financial transitional living services for foster
children. The office of children and family services shall establish a program to assist foster
children in the care, custody or guardianship of an authorized agency to achieve financial
security and independence as the children transition into independent living.
OPERATION FOOT SOLDIERS: YOUTH SNEAKER DRIVE
Join us, as we would like to show support by providing youth in foster care with Sneakers for their physical, spiritual, and emotional journey. This sneaker drive will be lead by PCNY, Garden of Eden, and Foster Care Unplugged, whose motives are to empower youth to become foot soldiers of their own lives. Foot soldiers by way of pushing through with their goals, talents and aspirations in spite of the cards they have been dealt in life. New or gently used sneakers/shoes will be accepted in ALL colors and sizes. (March 2016)
OPERATION COMBAT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: YOUTH EMPOWERMENT BRUNCH
The “Love, Relationships, and Reality” Brunch is designed to provide 50 girls between the ages of 14-21 with experiential knowledge of healthy relationships. These young women and girls will be engaging in interactive cooperative learning groups to foster the growth and understanding of healthy relationships. This brunch will be led by Domestic Violence survivor, Carol Maraj. Tracey F. Laroche, M.A. ED is the Founder and Executive Director of CROWNED 501(C)(3) and also a survivor of Domestic Violence. Joseph Maldonado, LMSW who currently works for CONNECT. CONNECT is dedicated to preventing interpersonal violence and promoting gender justice. Valerie Knight, LMSW currently works as a supervisor for an organization combating abuse for the geriatric population. As former social workers for the Urban Resource Institute, Ms. Knight and Founder Melody Centeno worked diligently on legislative advocacy, counseling, and leading survivor support groups. (March 2016)
CAREER AND VOCATIONAL PLANNING PANEL DISCUSSIONS
With the many obstacles that face youth today, foster care youth have in addition have to navigate even more potentially life altering decisions. The workshop will be a panel led discussion with former foster care youth and successful men/women who have matured into adulthood. The panel discussion will begin with panelist introducing themselves and speaking to their story. The panel will be led by a moderator, who will then take on topics of discussion related to various areas of personal development such as leadership, career development and resiliency. (March 2016)
Christopher Findley- Entrepreneur/ Designer
Glentis Michel- Strength Power Fit, Founder and Personal Trainer
Jasmine Santiago, Cancer Looks Like Me Foundation, Founder
Jerri Robinson- Foster One Voice, Founder
Joel Ceballos- Spark Authors, Founder/CEO
Jonathan Gangadeen- Banker, Musician, Producer and Author
Kel Spencer- Pens Of Power, Founder/ Author and Song Writer,
Melody JoAnne Centeno, Licensed Master Social Worker
OPERATION TOY STORIES: RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
Foster Care Unplugged: Toy Stories edition will be an event lead by Foster Care Unplugged, and the New Apostolic Church; alongside a local foster care agency: Heart Share Saint Vincent's Services. The agency will provide the addresses of families who are currently on a trial discharge. A trial discharge is a six-month trial period where family court approves the release of a child back into the custody of their primary care takers, while still under State supervision for a trial period of six months. This is a very crucial stage to determine the long term reunification of the family. In support of this period, stakeholders will then go to these homes of the families. Surprising the families with a flood of gifts, executes the goal of promoting community “random acts of kindness”. Participants will then introduce themselves, and share some words of encouragement to each child/caregiver, and in support of parent and child engagement. (April 2016)
OPERATION PROM DRESSES:
In collaboration with Senator Kevin Parker (Brooklyn, NY), Foster Care Unplugged will partake in the distribution of 60 prom dresses at no charge to Junior and Senior high school girls. Girls will have the opportunity to visit the Senators office, try on and select one dress. Make-up and Hair stylist will also be available to give free make-overs, and tutorials for the young girls to come up with ideas for this very important day in their lives. (April 2016)