October 2022 News

Program Updates

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. Interested in making a difference in this way? Click our button below to learn more.

Statewide Youth Conference

Level UP! 2022 Fall Statewide Youth Conference

Dates: November 11-13, 2022 | Time: Friday-Sunday, for youth in-person in Roanoke or via Zoom
Plan to Level Up your adulting skills with us in Roanoke, VA. Youth aged 14-21 who live in Virginia, and are or have been in foster care, are invited to apply. We will level up our IL skills through fun workshops all weekend. To provide a safe in-person experience, we will have safety strategies in place for all attendees, volunteers, and facilitators, including health questionnaires. Learn more on our website. 

Level 1 – Virtual Attendance (Open!)
Virtual attendee registration is still open until November 4th. The link and details are on our website, or you can click the button below to go directly to the registration form. Attendees 18 and up can register online to attend virtually. For attendees not yet 18, work with your LDSS worker to get your online registration form completed. 

Level 2 – In-Person Attendance (Closed)
The in-person application window opened 8/15/22 and closed on 9/30/22. We will be reviewing applications and sending notification emails early this week. If accepted, If invited, we will need verbal/written acceptance by October 10. If not accepted this time, then youth are invited to register to attend virtually. (See button above!)

Additionally, we have closed our volunteer application form are are currently working with all accepted volunteers. Volunteers can reach out to George or Kelly with questions.

Click on the image to see our teaser video for this conference.

Upcoming Statewide Events

Election 2022: Accessing Your Power to Vote

Date: October 10, 2022 | Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for youth via Zoom
Join Project LIFE for a virtual and nonpartisan workshop on October 10th from 5pm – 6pm to learn about accessing your power to vote! This workshop will be facilitated by the New Virginia Majority group. The presenter will share information on important registration deadlines, how to register to vote, ways to vote, and new voting laws and their impact. Youth interested in registering to vote can do so at that event as long as they have a state issued ID. Register using the button below, or contact Melissa.

Talk it Out Tuesdays Remixed

Date: October 18, 2022 | 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. 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 August 25, 2022.) Reach out to Melissa with questions.

Upcoming Regional and Hybrid Events

Central Region’s Wealth Wednesdays

Date: October 5, 2022 and continuing the first Wednesday of the month | 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.

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 through email or by text at 804.239.1239 to RSVP or to get a Fostering Community Meeting set up near you.

RVA Fostering Community Meeting

Date: October 6, 2022 and continuing the first Thursday of the month | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. for youth close enough to attend in-person at the RVA West End Library.

Petersburg Fostering Community Meeting

Date: October 13, 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

Fredericksburg Fostering Community Meeting

Date: October 26, 2022 and continuing the fourth Wednesday of the month | Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. for youth close enough to attend in-person at the Fredericksburg Public Library

Central Region’s Career Readiness Bootcamp

Dates: October 11 + 13, 2022 | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily 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 with questions.

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.

Central Region’s Hybrid Officer Chat

RESCHEDULED Date: October 19, 2022 | Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. for youth via Microsoft Teams or at UMFS, 3900 West Broad St., Richmond, VA
Lt. Alley from the Henrico County Police Department (HCPD) will be presenting to youth across VA. Youth will be taught their rights “they live under” as citizens, about policing and laws, as well as about pedestrian approaches and traffic stops. Lt. Alley will provide dinner for in-person registered attendees. Please register online before October 13 if you would like to attend. If you have other questions, please contact Olivia through email or by text at 804.239.1239.

Eastern Region’s New Parent Baby Shower by Molina (Rescheduled)

Date: October 27, 2022 | Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for youth close enough to attend in-person at 5612 Haden Road, VA Beach
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. Molina
Healthcare of VA will shower the parent attendees with practical items
to use with their child. They will also go over resources for the parents. Register using the button below.

Additional Events and Resources

Statewide VDSS Check-ins

Date: October 4, 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. 

Voices for Virginia’s Children’s Cohort: Virginia’s Youth in Action (VAYA)

Deadline: October 9, 2022
Our community partner, Voices for Virginia’s Children, is establishing a cohort of young changemakers for their new advocacy council, Virginia’s Youth in Action (VAYA). This youth development program will enhance young people’s ability to engage with legislators and decision-makers to advance their communities through advocacy, storytelling, and community engagement. This opportunity is available to 15-25 year olds that reside in Virginia. Advocates from under-represented groups and regions are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications are open until 11:59PM, Sunday, October 9, 2022. VAYA participants will be compensated $2000 and receive monthly training through May 2023.  Visit the website here, and for questions or more info, contact Kristin Lennox at kristin@vakids.org.

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