Saturday, May 1, 2010

Orange Co Social Services Conference

This weekend Orange County Social Services held their annual conference for foster parents and social workers. The theme of this years conference was "Home is Where Your Story Starts". I was asked a few months ago to be the key note speaker for this event and have been highly anticipating it. When I arrived at the venue, I noticed that there was a "Luggage of Love" table that had a pile of luggage stacked on and around it. One of the pieces of luggage was open on the table and inside it was cash and check donations. I had the opportunity to mingle a little beforehand with many of the attendees and it really made me feel good that they all shared in the common interest of helping the foster and shelter youth of today. After eating a delicious breakfast it was time for me to speak to the attendees. I can not tell you how rewarding it was to speak to such a large group. I spoke for a little under an hour and found the audience to be very receptive of my story and thoughts on the roles they play in these childrens' lives.

Once I had finished, there was a quick intermission and then my Mom and I were off to our workshop entitled "Throw Away the Instruction Manuel". I truly enjoy speaking onstage and sharing my story there, but having the opportunity to have people see our story from both mine and my mom's perspective is very informative to say the least. My Mom gives the audience the insight that is needed from an adult care givers view as well as a counselors view. It was such a pleasure talking with those who attended my workshop. I enjoyed hearing many of them tell their incredible journeys and stories that they have encountered working with the system.

I had an amazing time and I would love to thank Orange County Social Services for putting on such a great conference and for allowing me to be a part of it! I will forever remember this day and I thank you for believing in my story and what I am doing. Because of your commitment to the children like myself you help to ensure that each and every child in the system has the opportunity for a better future.

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