Posts Tagged ‘lindsay’

Not long ago, I talked to Suzanne’s friend Liz about her long and deep support for a girl who was struggling through the foster-care system in California. She expressed the view that kids who “age out” of foster care still need support. Maybe they reject anything that smacks of the government programs at first, but the possibility of more advice and assistance should be revisited after a year or so, Liz said. That’s because the young people are mostly without the networks and connections that their peers can turn to as they move into adulthood.

So I was interested to read in the Boston Globe last week that there is at least one small support program for a few graduates of foster care. It’s an internship program on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

About a decade ago a staffer working on Capitol Hill took note of a particular group of interns. “The interns, all former foster children, had aged out of the system and made their way through college. Now they were in Washington, on Capitol Hill, working at the seat of power and, Lindsay Ellenbogen noticed, not always having the resources to succeed.

“They had a willingness to learn — often they arrived early, stayed late, and were eager to take on any task, even if it was just making copies or answering phones. But many had never been far from their homes. Few had ever spent time around politics or politicians. And when they asked questions about how to write a news release or listen in on a committee meeting, staffers were often too busy to show them the ropes.

“ ‘When you’re on Capitol Hill, you’re living three days before noon, so you can’t really stop and help somebody,’ said Ellenbogen, who worked as a Capitol Hill staffer alongside the former foster youth.

“Now, nine years later, Ellenbogen is supervising another group of former foster children and making sure they have an easier transition into the world of a Washington intern. Last year, Ellenbogen, who had worked as a Capitol Hill staffer for 10 years, joined the advisory board of the
Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Foster Youth Internship program.”

Now she has time to answer the interns’ questions and help them find the resources they need. Read more here.

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