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Friday “Forgotten Children” Rally

Achieving Foster Youth Success Through Awareness

(Anchorage) - Friday Alaskans will rally in support of Alaska's 2,000 foster youth, and the need to move forward to ensure they share the same opportunities and chances in life as all other Alaskans.  "It's a call for improving the chances we offer youth to succeed, so they can share in the opportunities all Alaskans should share in.  We have to do better than a system that sends more foster youth to jail than to college," said Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage).  The rally is organized by volunteers who provide crucial support to foster youth, Alaska's Court Appointed Special Advocates.  The press release by Friends for Alaska CASA follows. 

Speakers will include foster youth advocate Amanda Metivier, founder of the statewide foster youth advocacy group Facing Foster Care in Alaska, Rep. Gara, and a number of leaders in this area.  CASA volunteer Beaty Graves will be recognized for her outstanding work with children and youth in our community.  Organizer Ryan Zinn's contact information is included here. 

Last week the Legislature took big steps forward, and passed the most significant foster care reforms in a decade.  The reforms are aimed at increasing youth success.  Legislation by Rep. Gara, and bi-partisan reform efforts included in the budget, are awaiting review by the Governor. The efforts, pushed by Metivier and Gara over the past two years, passed with the help of strong bi-partisan support in the legislature. 

Key supporters of these efforts included, among many others, Sen. Bettye Davis (D-Anchorage), Rep. Nancy Dahlstrom (R-Eagle River), Rep. Bob Herron (D-Bethel), Rep. Mike Hawker (R-Anchorage), and Rep. Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau).

For more information, contact Rep. Gara or aide David Theriault at (907) 465-2647 or at Representative_Les_Gara@legis.state.ak.us .

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