Fall 2016 Independent Living Article

On July 28, 2016, three teens in the custody of Fairfield County Protective Services and their Independent Living Caseworker, Stephanie Jackson, attended the Pathways to Success Conference in Columbus.  Pathways to Success is a state-wide Independent Living Conference, hosted by Ohio Reach.  Ohio Reach is an organization that works with county and post -secondary educators to improve outcomes for foster youth in college.  The conference brings current foster youth, foster alumni, post-secondary educators and caseworkers together to promote youth success.

Kevin Brown, an MTV host, clothing designer and former foster youth, was the keynote speaker for the day.  His speech focused on putting your goals in action and not letting other's negativity stop you from achieving your dreams. The three youth also attended breakout sessions regarding what to expect their first year of college, overcoming the stigma of foster care, and a small college fair. All 250 youth attending the conference received a handmade blanket, book of their choice, outfit from Suits for Success, and an Amazon Fire tablet.