2023 FosterClub All-Star Intern

May - June 2023 • Seaside, OR

What I liked

I liked that they used my experience being a former foster kid myself to be able to make changes in the system for others in the past, and made me feel like my experience in the system, no matter how long, was valid and important. I also liked the work environment that tried their best to focus more on the mental health of their workers, it was an open and professional environment (I liked having the debriefs we had to recuperate and regroup) and there was a lot of networking to be done through this organization that reignited my passion to help others and myself. I learned a lot of what it means to work in a liberal professional environment, and some skills that will help me in my future career as well as in my personal life. I loved meeting the other All-Stars and getting to know them, crying with them, laughing with them, and working with them--it was definitely what made the experience much more fun.

What I wish was different

I need to acknowledge that there was people in new positions and that we were trying new things in our programming (and that they were trying their best), but some issues of communication popped up that were dealt with a couple times during our debriefs. I wish that communication was more clear at times, because when we got into conference mode communication was very important. Also, there was an honest mistake in my rooming that had me placed in a room with two people who were over 21, and I was not 21 yet, which meant there was substance use in our shared room, but this mistake was acknowledged and corrected. And while I personally didn't mind it, in the future I hope that it won't happen to other All-Stars for their safety and wellbeing. We worked with two teams: System Change and Youth Services. We got two projects to juggle as well as our regular zoom training, and I feel with all of that it was a lot to handle (but then again, this was my first time in a professional environment setting). It was definitely a learning curve, I just wish in the future we could have had more of a notice or warning that we would need to work on multiple big projects outside of our zoom/in-person time, because a lot of us in my Cohort did not have that experience. I also wished we had more time to offer feedback and receive feedback at the end of it.


Be very in-tune with your emotions and how you are feeling, and don't feel bad for speaking up for yourself. Nobody will know you are struggling if you don't say something. With that said, if you have a lot of trauma surrounding your experience in foster care, please at least have some skills to cope with those times when you are triggered, because this experience will trigger you in ways. And while the staff try their best to help with situations that happen, they can't prevent every crisis. Also, you don't need to have leadership experience, but you must be able to take that role if you need to--the activities we did helped with that. Be willing to put extra time outside of the regular zoom/in-person time to work on activities. And if your mental health is negatively unstable, or you have a very close-minded or stubborn attitude, please know that in an environment like this you will need to have growth in that department. I know that is multiple pieces of advice, but I want to help as much as I can!!
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