Calling everyone interested in volunteering with Project LIFE: As you know, we have conferences twice a year, and the next one is coming up in the spring. We are always in need of caring adults who want to hangout with some awesome teens and young adults in a fast-paced, fun-filled weekend. Volunteers are background-checked, which expires after three years. If you are interested in volunteering with us in 2023, please email us and ask for our interest application.
Currently Hiring For Project LIFE Vacancies
We are currently hiring to fill the positions of Independent Living Consultant in the Piedmont and Western Regions. The Piedmont position works out of the UMFS regional center in Lynchburg, VA, and the Western position is fully remote, with travel in the region and with some occasional trips to Richmond. 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.
Tax Season Resources
Feel lost when it comes to taxes? Most of us do. And, since the nuances of taxes change each year, it’s hard to know what to do each year. Luckily, you’re not alone! The Project LIFE team has pulled together a few general resources to get your brain wrapped around it all, including a session that you can virtually attend. Attend our session with CPAs and check out our resources using the button below.
Upcoming Statewide Events
FAFSA 101 Workshop
Date: January 8, 2023 | Time: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. for youth via Zoom
All youth, ages 14 – 21, in Virginia’s foster care system are invited to participate in this federal financial aid informational workshop. Come and learn how to complete the FAFSA form. Contact George Mack at email@example.com if you need more information for this event. Register using the link below.
All Things Credit
Dates: February 9 + March 9, 2023 | Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for youth via Microsoft Teams
Youth around the state are invited to learn all about credit: what it is, why it is important, and how to build good credit. Bring all of your credit score questions to be answered by Olivia. The same information will be presented at all sessions, but come multiple times for the rich discussion. If you would like to attend, you can register using the link below. If you have other questions, please contact Olivia through email or by text at 804.239.1239.
Tax Basics 101
Date: February 9, 2023 | Time: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. for youth via Zoom
All youth ages 14 – 21 in Virginia’s foster care system are invited to participate in this tax filing informational workshop. On February 9th, Project LIFE’s staff will be joined by Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) from Brown Edwards LLP. Youth will receive a walk through on completing their tax forms, and youth will be able to ask questions. Later offerings of this session will be with Project LIFE staff. Contact George Mack at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information for this event. Register using the button below.
Talk it Out Tuesdays Remixed
Date: February 21, 2023 | Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for youth via Ring Central and continuing the third Tuesday of every month
(RETURNING TO EVENINGS.) Talk it out Tuesdays is 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. Register once and attend as many as you want! (Note: there is a new meeting link as of August 25, 2022.) Reach out to Melissa with questions.
Upcoming Regional and Hybrid Events
Central Region’s Wealth Wednesdays
Date: February 1, 2023 | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. for Youth at UMFS, 3900 West Broad St., 23230
Youth are invited to learn about building lifelong wealth. Youth will review their spending from last month, make goals for next month and receive rewards for meeting their goals. If you would like to attend, or have other questions, please contact Olivia through email or by text at 804.239.1239.
Central Region’s Career Readiness Bootcamp
Dates: February 6 + 8, 2023 | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for Youth at Career Works, 4914 Radford Ave., RVA 23230
Project LIFE partnered with Career works to offer youth 18 to 23 a two-day Career Readiness Bootcamp. Youth will learn about finding a job, keeping it and the value of communication and networking. Youth will then be given the opportunity to sign up for support from Career Works in developing a career to support them for a life time. Register using the button below; space is limited. Contact Olivia through email or by text at 804.239.1239 with questions.
Eastern Region’s Voices Youth Group
Dates: February 7 – March 7, 2023 | Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for Youth at UMFS, VA Beach
Voices is a youth empowerment program for youth in foster care or have been in foster care to equip them with resources and tools to be successful as they transition from adolescence to adulthood. We are looking for youth ages 14-18. The program will offer modules that focus on self-exploration (what are the labels that have been given to them over time and how to let go of the ones that no longer work), self-care, anger management, problem solving with the seven resiliencies, personal integrity (exploring personality and character), goal setting/creating new habits, resilience, forgiveness, and breaking the cycle. For registration contact email@example.com.
Central Region’s Parenting Together Group
Date: February 15, 2023 and continuing monthly | Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for Youth at UMFS, 3900 West Broad St., 23230
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 peer support group. This group will learn together in a safe space while relating with other peers in the same stage of parenthood. Attendees can bring their child(ren) with them to this group, and will be connected to resources, local experts, and prizes/gifts. If you want to attend or have other questions, please contact Olivia (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Eastern Region’s Week of LIFE
Dates: February 13, 15,17, 2023 | Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Youth and professionals in-person in at UMFS, VA Beach
Save the dates for Eastern’s Week of LIFE! All youth ages 14 – 23 in Virginia’s foster care system are invited to participate in these fun, interactive IL workshops throughout the week. Each day will cover a different IL topic and will include the following: substance abuse discussion around drugs, vaping, and alcohol and Rocking your Brand (interviewing secrets). Contact Melissa through email at email@example.com to sign up or if you need more information.
Northern Region’s Week of LIFE Workshop Series
Dates: February 20-24, 2023 | Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. each night for Youth and Professionals in-person in Northern Region
All youth ages 14 – 21 in Virginia’s foster care system are invited to participate in these fun, interactive IL workshops throughout the week. Each night will cover a different IL topic. We encourage each youth to bring a supportive adult or staff in their lives with them if they can, but this is not required. Contact George through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 804.239.1044 if you need more information for this event.
Eastern Region’s Guy Code Group
Date: February 23, 2023 | Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. for Youth in-person in Eastern Region
IL aged males in the Eastern Region are invited to attend to this group. Attendees will connect with their peers, receive support, and learn new IL skills. Register for this group by clicking the button below, or contact Melissa Lee at email@example.com with questions.
Central Region’s Hybrid Relationships Within My Reach
Date: February 23, 2023 | Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. for youth at UMFS, RVA and via Microsoft Teams
The Relationship Foundation will be talking about communication, expectations, and healthy relationship role models. She will lead a discussion around what youth see in relationships today, teach some simple communication skills, and discuss what they expect in relationships and how to attract healthy ones. Join in person or online; dinner will be provided for those who attend in person.
Central Region’s Independent Living Coordinators Committee (ILCC) Meeting
Date: February 24, 2023 | Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. for professionals via Ring Central
All Central DSS agencies and private providers are invited to attend this ILCC to discuss independent living needs for youth transitioning out of foster care. Contact Olivia through email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan on attending or if you need more information.
Northern Region’s Independent Living Coordinators Committee (ILCC) Meeting
Date: April 18, 2023 | 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 email@example.com or at 804.239.1044 if you plan on attending to get the link for this meeting, or if you need more information.
Northern Region Permanency/Permanent Connections Workshop with Loudoun County DSS
Date: April 24, 2023 | Time: TBA for Youth at 45201 Research Place, Suite 110, Ashburn, VA
All youth ages 14 – 21 in Loudoun County DSS’s foster care are invited to participate in this fun, interactive IL workshop on permanent connections. If you are in this DSS and would like to attend, contact Lyle Davidson through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Events and Resources
VDSS Youth Services (IL) Updates Corner
Harris K. Leonard Memorial Academic Scholarship
Deadline: February 22, 2023 | for Eligible Youth
Attention youth currently in, or have aged out, or was adopted from the foster care system living in Arlington, Alexandria, Loudoun or Fairfax County, Virginia: You are eligible to be nominated for a scholarship through CASE. In honor of the late Harris K. Leonard’s interest in children who have experienced foster care and his lifelong dedication to education, the Leonard family has established the Harris K. Leonard Memorial Scholarship. The $1,500 scholarship will be awarded to a student who is currently in, has aged out, or was adopted from foster care and is pursuing post-high school education in a college, university, or trade school. The funds will be paid directly to the school, unless special arrangements are made to pay for transportation, books or other expenses. Nominations MUST be submitted by 5:00 pm on 2/22/23 to Trina Leonard at: email@example.com. Subject: Scholarship Nomination. Learn more and find the nomination form here.
Statewide VDSS Check-ins
Date: March 7, 2023 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 March 7, 2023, and will run through May 2, 2023. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at 804.239.1044 to receive the dial in information to join by phone, or if you have any questions.
Independent Living Programs
Looking for support as you transition to self-sufficiency? DePaul Community Resources’ Independent Living program is here for you. Program staff provide guidance, compassion, and direction in navigating the difficult journey from adolescence to adulthood. DePaul has Independent Living programs in Charlottesville, Roanoke, and Abingdon. To learn more about the program in general, visit depaulcr.org/support-services/independent-living or email Carrie Elswick (email@example.com) with questions or referrals.