CARE Coalition is proud to mentor and support groups of young people through the West Virginia Youth Organizing Fellowship, a program facilitated by Rise Up WV and West Virginia Citizen Action Group. The fellowship supports Appalachian teens to organize their communities around issues that matter to them — to do their own candidate forums, voter education, and more. This summer, the program helped four amazing teams kick off nonpartisan electoral campaigns around the opioid crisis, the foster care crisis, and quality public education. Partnerships like these allow CARE Coalition to build its capacity statewide, reach broader issues, and work toward creating a just economic transition in Central Appalachia.
On August 2, 2018, a group of Youth Organizing Fellows who are current students and recent graduates of Logan High School organized a community forum in Logan County to discuss West Virginia’s foster care system and the effect it has on their community.
The Gazette-Mail reported that the forum started with attendees “rotating between three tables and hearing perspectives from experts, including a nurse practitioner at Logan Regional Medical Center, representatives from Necco, a foster care agency, and a Logan High School teacher. The event concluded with Delegate Ralph Rodighiero, D-Logan, and Aaron Stone, who are both competing for the House of Delegates seat Rodighiero currently holds, fielding questions from those in the crowd about what they would do to alleviate some of the challenges in the foster care system.”
Logan High School graduate Kiana Minter said that “we can’t just move on and forget about this stuff because it’s challenging or hard to understand. We need to keep talking. We need to keep trying to understand this and maybe find different ways to come up with solutions. With foster care, we need to keep a conversation going. This can’t just stop here.”