American Democracy Project at RIC

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RIC’s American Democracy Project, The Junior League of Rhode Island & the Jim Casey Youth Initiative

The Challenges of Youth Who Experience the Foster Care System,
and How You Can Make a Difference
November 3, 2016
RIC Student Union Ballroom

6 p.m. – Networking and Check-In
6:30 p.m. – Program/Speaking Panel

The Junior League of Rhode Island (JLRI) is partnering with Foster Forward RI, a Jim Casey Initiative site on “Youth Home Makeovers,” and RIC’s American Democracy Project to present a forum demonstrating how an innovative program and the JLRI is helping youth transition to suitable and affordable housing, as a first step to being successful adults.  

In Rhode Island, 100 youth age out of the foster care system each year.  These youths do not always have the consistent presence of adults in their lives.  The lack of familial and community support for foster youths leads to poor outcomes — lower prospects for employment, higher rates of incarceration and struggles with mental and physical health. 

This event will bring this national issue to the local level.  Attendees will:

  • Hear about the experiences of young people in the foster care system
  • Understand the positive impact of supportive adults on youth in and transitioning from foster care nationally and in Rhode Island
  • Learn how to get involved and make a difference in their communities

The speaking panel includes former foster youth and current Founder & CEO of “Think of Us,” Sixto Cancel.  Think of Us is a non-profit dedicated to innovating with data, technology and multi-media to help foster youth heal, develop and thrive.  He has appeared on NPR’s “Tell Me More,” Fox News, the Katie Couric show, and the Huffington Post.  Additionally, Sandra Wilkie, Consultant with the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Lisa Guillette, Executive Director of Foster Forward RI will participate in the panel. 

The cost for this event is $15 – general admission/donation (all proceeds to fund a JLRI “Youth Home Makeover” project); Students admitted for free with valid student ID.

To register, visit 

The American Democracy Project (ADP) began in 2003 as an initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), in partnership with The New York Times. Its goal is to produce graduates who are committed to being active, involved citizens in their communities. The over 220 participating colleges and universities. RIC is the only college in the state to participate in the ADP and is considered one of the leading programs in the country for political and civic engagement, often used as the model for initiatives by other colleges.

Page last updated: Wednesday, October 26, 2016