August 2022 News

Program Updates

Currently Hiring for Project LIFE Vacancy

We are currently hiring to fill the position of Independent Living Consultant in the Piedmont Region. This position works out of the UMFS regional center in Lynchburg, VA. We’re looking for someone with knowledge of Virginia’s Independent Living Program, Education and Training Vouchers Program, National Youth in Transition Database, and the Casey Life Skills Assessment. More details and requirements are listed in the job posting. If you or someone you know would be a good fit, please visit the job posting here for more information and to apply.

Media Ambassadors

Project LIFE is seeking applications from youth all over Virginia from youth interested in being a media ambassador. This opportunity will engage youth in future content projects created by the Project LIFE team. Selected youth will work closely with our Youth Development Coordinator to create social media content appealing to young people in the foster care system in Virginia. Content and projects will include content for our statewide youth conference, advocacy opportunities that can include sharing youth experiences to various audiences, and other creative opportunities to engage youth voice. While filming will probably take place in the Central region, there will also be asynchronous and virtual opportunities and we would like youth from all over the state. Selected youth must have media permissions from their LDSS if they are younger than 18 and should work with their LDSS worker to complete this form. Applications open August 1. Complete it here, and visit our post to see some past projects.

Upcoming Statewide Events

Talk it Out Tuesdays Remixed

Date: July 19, 2022 | Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. for youth via Ring Central and continuing the third Tuesday of every month
(NOTE THE NEW TIME FOR JULY.) Talk it out Tuesdays is coming back and is “remixed.” On the third Tuesday of the month, youth can take advantage of a safe space to connect with their peers. Youth can bring their own topics to chat about, or the group can talk about the topic of the month. The first topic series is “Careers and Coins.” Register once and attend as many as you want! (Note: there is a new meeting link as of Feb. 1.) Reach out to Melissa with questions.

Virtual Driving Prep Session: “Things To Know Before You Go”

Dates: August 17 or 18, 2022 | Times: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.; for youth via Ring Central
All PL youth are invited to join us for a 1 hour virtual driving support session. We will cover DMV traffic signs and commonly missed test questions. We will wrap up with a Q&A session with driving instructor Trina Harris of Aapex Driving School, Inc. This same session is being offered at 4 different times, so choose the one that best fits your schedule, or come to as many as you want for additional practice. Register using the button below, or contact Melissa.

2022 Fall Statewide Youth Conference

Date: Fall | Time: Friday-Sunday, for youth in-person or via Zoom
COMING SOON! Project LIFE is planning the 2022 Fall Statewide youth conference. Plan to Level Up your adulting skills with us in the Piedmont region of VA. When registration opens, attendees can register online to attend virtually or apply online to attend in-person. We will need volunteers to spend the weekend with us and the awesome in-person youth. We will release more information, like exact dates and location, in mid-August. Stay tuned to our social media accounts, website, and future newsletters. 

Upcoming Regional Events

Eastern Region’s Mommy Chat Group

Date: TBD | Time: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. For Youth and Professionals at 5612 Haden Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23455  
All PL youth in the Eastern region who are moms and moms-to-be are invited to connect with one another in a “mommy chat” group. Moms will learn the importance of self-care along with some simple self-care methods. This group will be in-person and will be hosted by Project LIFE and Storm, Inc. Contact Melissa Lee at mlee@umfs.org to get updates about the date as well as ask questions.

Central Region’s Casting Call

Date: August, 2022 | Time: based on participants’ schedules for youth
Youth voice is an important part of the conference! There will be many opportunities for youth to get involved in the planning process. One opportunity is to be cast and possibly star in our next conference promo video. This video will be filmed in Richmond, VA. If interested in the video or in other ways to share your voice, please complete our application and video permissions form. Contact Sophia Booker at sbooker@umfs.org for more information or with questions.

Eastern Region’s Cooking Camp

Dates: August 8-12, 2022 | Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. for youth at ForKids, 1001 Poindexter St., Chesapeake, VA 23324
Healthy Chesapeake presents, “Healthy Chef Summer Cooking Camp: Basic Skills 101!” In this week-long series, youth will learn knife skills/safety, how to make a sauce, how to sauté, how to cook pasta/grains, how to cook veggies. On the last day, camp participants can bring someone else to cook for! Youth will the put their skills to the test and will create their own meal. Registration is required as space is limited; email Melissa to attend.

Central Region introduces Fostering Community Meetings

The Central region is introducing Fostering Community meetings! Youth 14 to 23 years old, who are or were in foster care, are invited to join Project LIFE at their local library each month to learn adulting skills and hang out with others in their community. Activities will be decided by the first individual to arrive. Contact Olivia Snoke to get a Fostering Community Meeting set up near you. 

Petersburg Fostering Community Meeting

Date: August 11, 2022 and continuing the second Thursday of the month | Time: 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. for youth close enough to attend in-person at Petersburg Public Library
Contact Olivia through email or text/phone to RSVP. 

Central Region’s Parenting Together Group

Dates: August 24, September 28, 2022 | Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for youth at UMFS, 3900 West Broad St., Richmond, VA
Any Virginia youth, aged 14-23, who has experienced foster care and is a parent, or soon to be parent, to a young child is invited to attend this three-part series. (If you did not attend the first one, you are still invited to register for and attend the second and third sessions.) This group will learn together in a safe space while relating with other peers in the same stage. Attendees can bring their child(ren) with them to this group, and will be connected to resources, local experts, and prizes/gifts. This event will also be available virtually. If you would like to attend online, or have other questions, please contact Olivia (osnoke@umfs.org).

Northern Region’s Independent Living Coordinators Committee (ILCC) Meeting

Date: October 18, 2022 | Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. for professionals via Ring Central
All Northern DSS agencies and private providers are invited to attend this ILCC to discuss independent living needs for youth transitioning out of foster care. This meeting will cover topics related to transitioning youth into adulthood and will be joined by Monica Cabell with VDSS to share statewide updates. Contact George through email at gmack@umfs.org or at 804.239.1044 if you plan on attending to get the link for this meeting, or if you need more information.

Additional Events and Resources

Statewide VDSS Check-ins

Date: September 6, 2022 and continuing the first Tuesday of every month | Time: 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. for professionals via Ring Central
These check-in calls are open to all DSS agencies to discuss independent living needs and updates with the VDSS IL team’s Letha Moore-Jones and Monica Cabell. These meetings will be held every first Tuesday of each month, starting September 6, 2022, and will run through November 1, 2022. You do not need to register for these check-ins. You can click here at the scheduled time to attend virtually, or contact George at gmack@umfs.org or at 804.239.1044 to receive the dial in information to join by phone, or if you have any questions. 

Northern VA Housing Resource

Are you 18-21 and want to live somewhere beautiful? Impact Living Services has an IL site in Harrisonburg, nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, surrounded by the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. We are looking for fresh faces of IL youth and have several apartments all set up, ready and waiting! Please contact Site Supervisor Becky Bonds at rebecca.bonds@impactlivingservices.org or by phone at 540- 830-1891 to apply. We would love to consider you!

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