Represent: The Voice of Youth in Care by Youth Communications
The stories are intense. The stories are heartbreaking. The stories are real. Published quarterly, Represent magazine captures the personal stories of hundreds of youth in foster care. The publication provides an outlet for teens to share their experiences as foster children. The youth-written magazine, a product of Youth Communications allows the voices of foster care youth to be heard.
As foster children are jostled from home to home, their education becomes less of a priority, leading to an absense of proficient reading and writing skills. Although sidelined, literacy remains an important goal in today’s education system. Youth Communications is a non-profit organization committed to help “marginalized youth develop their full potential through reading and writing, so that they can succeed in school and at work and contribute to their communities.”
explains its mission best:We publish true stories by teens that are developed in a rigorous writing program. These stories are uniquely compelling to peers who do not see their experiences reflected in mainstream reading materials. They motivate teens to read and write, encourage good values, and show teens how to make positive changes in their lives. For teachers and other staff, our materials and training provide tools to understand and engage hard-to-reach teens while helping them improve their academic, social, and emotional skills.
Our work is grounded in the belief that reading and writing remain the best ways to stimulate the imagination and to encourage reflection and discussion. We believe that literate, thoughtful citizens are essential to the survival of a vibrant, democratic society.
Although not all stories can be published in the print edition, countless stories are posted to the magazine’s website, representmag.org
. Upon arrival at representmag.org
, one will find a easy-to-navigate homepage, with story topic umbrellas such as addiction, juvenile justice, sex and pregnacy and work and money. The Fall 2013 issue of Represent highlights the financial aspects of a foster child’s life, more specifically relating to the struggles one may face after aging out of the system.
This publication and website is an obvious resource for youth and teens, however, the two outlets are great resources for foster parents, teachers or other adults who simply want to better understand the unique needs of children in foster care and how to better relate to foster children.
KidsPeace gives Represent a Healing High Five!