The 2022 Spring hybrid conference was a HUGE success. You can read more about it and see released photos by clicking the link below. If you missed this one, no worries! We host statewide youth conferences twice a year. The next one will be in the fall; stay tuned to our media outlets for more info to be released.
Project LIFE wants to recognize and celebrate all of the academic and vocational graduates around the state. If you have graduated from high school, a vocational program, or college this year, we would love to share your graduation photo on our social media platforms. Complete our online media release form and email a photo of yourself in your regalia or uniform to Melissa Lee. We’ll post photos with first names only on our Facebook and Instagram pages throughout the month of June. See the first one below: Melvin! Congrats!
Upcoming Statewide Events
Celebrate Pride Month: Pride 101
Date: June 16, 2022 | Time: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. for youth and professionals via Zoom
Project LIFE is a program that values diversity, equality, and inclusion. All are welcome to join us during Pride Month as we celebrate and educate the LGBTQIA+ community and friends. We will be playing a Jeopardy-inspired game and will wrap up with some resources for LGBTQIA+ youth in Virginia. This event will be informative but in a fun way, so come ready to learn and more importantly WIN! Also, it’s a PLIFE event so you know you can expect prizes! Please register to attend and reach out to Aros Herndon with questions.
Talk it Out Tuesdays Remixed
Date: June 21, 2022 | Time: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. for youth via Ring Central and continuing the third Tuesday of every month
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: July 6 or 7 or August 17 or 18, 2022 | Times: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. in July; 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. in August; 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.
Upcoming Regional Events
Central Region’s Healthy Relationships Session
Date: June 8, 2022 | Time: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for youth at 3900 West Broad St, Richmond
Project LIFE youth in the Central Region are invited to join PL and counselors from Safe Harbor to learn some fundamentals of healthy romantic relationships and addressing abuse. Youth are invited to stay after the session for dinner and discussion. This event will be in person on UMFS’ campus in Richmond. Once you register, you will get more location details. Contact Olivia for more information.
Eastern Region’s Independent Living Coordinators Committee (ILCC) Meeting
Date: June 15, 2022 | Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
for professionals via Ring Central
All Eastern region 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 include resource sharing and opportunities for youth in this region. Contact Melissa through email if you plan on attending and she will provide the meeting link to you.
Central Region’s Week of LIFE
Dates: June 21-24, 2022 | Times: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. daily for youth and professionals at 3900 West Broad St., Richmond, VA
These The Central region is hosting an in-person Week of LIFE, where LIFE stands for Living Independently, Focusing on Empowerment. It will kick-off your summer with 14 in-person events revolving around IL skills and services for both youth and professionals. Attend for Fun, Friends, Food and Figuring Life Out! Every youth will get a gift for coming. Food includes daily snacks and dinner, and lunch for 3 of the 4 days. (You don’t have to live in the Central region to attend, but you would need to drive to attend.) Register using the link below. Registration closes 6/15.
Eastern Region’s ILCC Graduation Event
Date: June 24, 2022 | Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for youth and their professionals at at 100 South 1st St., Hampton, VA
The Eastern Region’s ILCC and Project LIFE are hosting a graduation event for the class of 2022. This event will honor all of our graduates from high school, trade school, and college, as this is an important milestone and achievement in their lives. Graduates will get to mingle with other youth while they enjoy the food, games, music, raffles, selfie station, and beach. This joint event is being sponsored by the following agencies throughout the Eastern region: Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, Suffolk, Portsmouth, and Project LIFE. RSVPs are required; email Melissa to attend.
Piedmont Region’s Independent Living Coordinators Committee (ILCC) Meeting
Date: June 15, 2022 | Time: 2:00 p.m.
for professionals via Ring Central
All Piedmont region 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 include resource sharing and opportunities for youth in this region. Contact Jamesia Harrison through email or by phone at 434.846.2002 if you plan on attending and she will provide the meeting link to you.
Piedmont Region’s UP Summer Camp
Dates: July 11-15, 2022 | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. daily for youth at the UP Foundation: 2420 Memorial Ave., Lynchburg
Come be a part of this interactive youth summer camp sponsored by Project LIFE and the Up Foundation. We will focus on different areas of Independent Living such as anger- and self-management, sex and self-worth, job readiness and career planning, problem solving and dealing with conflict, and therapeutic recreational activities. Lunch and materials are provided daily. The first 10 youth fully registered will receive a full scholarship to attend the camp. Get more information and register through Jamesia Harrison via email or by phone at 434.846.2002. Registration closes on July 1, 2022.
Additional Events and Resources
Virginia Mental Health Poetry Competition
Submission Deadline: June 7, 2022
Young Invincibles is now accepting digital poetry submissions until June 7th, 2022 portraying how mental health impacts young adults. It is not a requirement to have or share a personal story. Rather, the panel of judges will be looking for the portrayal of diverse communities of young people (18-34) plus their commitment to health equity and reducing mental health stigma. Three winners will be chosen. Please submit poems to https://forms.gle/8VkU5j8Nrfopr6pn6.
Why you should submit a poem: $250 gift card for first place and $150 and $75 gift cards for the two runner-ups; poems will be shared on YI’s social media (reaching a national audience of over 44k); poems will be used for the future use of YI through digital pieces, prints, etc.
To learn more about full requirements and submission instructions, please click here. Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attention Youth: Transportation Assistance Program (TAP)
There is a new special budget to specifically help eligible youth with transportation needs and fees, like obtaining a driver’s license, vehicle insurance, driver’s education classes and testing fees, practice lessons, practice hours, license fees, and even assistance in purchasing an automobile. If you are a youth already 15 and not yet 23, you may be eligible for this assistance! First contact your local DSS worker and tell them you’re interested in the transportation assistance program. If you get stuck, or you are a worker trying to help your youth and need help, you can reach out to Gwen Castillo at VDSS through her email address.