Posts By: Sondra Lehmann

Youth Advocate Spotlight: Exzaniel Ocon

TNOYS’ Youth Adult Leadership Council (YALC) is a nine-month leadership development program for youth and young adults between the ages of 16 to 25 who have experience with foster care, homelessness, and systems-involvement, and who have a demonstrated interest in or potential for leadership or advocacy. TNOYS recently spoke with Exzaniel Ocon, a 20-year-old YALC… Read more »

Staff Picks at TNOYS’ 38th Annual Conference

TNOYS’ Annual Conference is right around the corner, and our team is looking forward to all the fun and learning that’s in store! Guided by the theme Rooted in Power, this year’s conference spotlights equity and inclusion and youth-adult partnership throughout our 50+ workshops and sessions. Our team is excited for sessions such as the… Read more »

Putting DEI Values Into Action at TNOYS

It has been almost one year since TNOYS committed to redoubling our efforts to combat racism and inequity. As we reflect on the past 12 months, we’re reminded of the urgency and importance of this work for our organization and across youth-serving systems. Events such as the pandemic and the winter storm have shone a… Read more »

Centering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at TNOYS’ 38th Annual Conference

TNOYS is excited to offer new resources to help youth-serving providers put diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) best practices into action. Our team has heard time and again that DEI training and leadership development are top priorities for youth-serving providers. In fact, a 2020 survey of our member network showed that DEI and leadership development… Read more »

Why Foster Youth Should Get College Credit For Completing the PAL Program

By Brenda Woolley Brenda Woolley is a member of TNOYS’ Young Adult Leadership Council (YALC). The YALC is a 9-month training program that empowers youth who have experienced homelessness or systems involvement to be advocates and storytellers in their community. During the 87th Texas Legislative Session, Brenda testified before the Human Services Committee on behalf… Read more »

How to Support Texas’ Youth-Serving Organizations in the Aftermath of Winter Storm Uri

Last week’s historic winter storm was devastating for Texas communities who are still facing major challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through it all, youth-serving organizations have truly stepped up to connect youth and young adults with critical needs such as shelter, food, and drinkable water.  We’ve heard countless stories of how youth-serving… Read more »

Reflecting on 2020 and Looking Ahead

This year brought new challenges for many of us. Young people faced great obstacles, and organizations had to do more with less to meet growing needs. 2020 also shined a light on the profound inequities and gaps within systems, especially the racial inequities that are felt daily by young people of color. At TNOYS, we… Read more »

Young Adult Spotlight on Franklin Fisher

TNOYS always looks to empower young people in decision-making about their own lives and communities. One of our young adult partners, Franklin Fisher, testified during the 86th legislative session in 2019 and was excited to be involved in TNOYS’ policy work once again this year. Thanks in part to Franklin’s testimony in 2019, TNOYS and… Read more »

Grow with TNOYS in Our New Fiscal Year

As TNOYS begins our new fiscal year, we’re seeking organizations and individuals to grow with us in 2021! If you are not yet a TNOYS member, we encourage you to explore all the benefits that membership has to offer. Learn more and join on TNOYS’ membership page. Want to discuss how TNOYS membership can benefit… Read more »