St. Paul, MN – The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, is collaborating with the Minnesota Youth Leadership Councils and the Minnesota Department of Human Services to host Foster Child and Youth Day on the Hill to advocate for foster child and youth rights.

On March 9th, this event developed by youth is designed to give them a voice on the pressing issues they experience in the foster care system. A Youth Summit and Training will take place at the Capitol Ridge hotel from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. to prepare the youth for meetings with legislators. At 1:00 p.m. the group of more than 125 youth and adult allies from across the state of Minnesota will march to the State Capitol for a Rally in the Rotunda 1:30 p.m. The rally will consist of greetings by Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and Representative Mary Kunesh-Podein, and youth with foster care experiences sharing their stories. Adult allies will be present to assist youth in finding their voice.

“Our young leaders from the foster care systems are the best advocates for policy improvements and reforms that protect the wellbeing of youth in the system,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. “The focus of the day will be to have youth share their experiences to help educate legislators on the lack of foster parent training and the Foster Care Bill of Rights.”

Foster Child and Youth Day on the Hill was planned in partnership with a committee representing youth and adult allies from agencies across the state. Some of the sponsors include YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, Nexxus Kindred Family Focus, Foster Advocates, Ampersand Families and the Bridge for Youth.

WHO:
YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, Minnesota Youth Leadership Councils and Minnesota Department of Human Services

WHAT:
Foster Child and Youth Day on the Hill

WHERE:
Capitol Ridge Hotel, 161 St. Anthony Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55103 (9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.) 
March to State Capitol (1:00-1:30 p.m.)
MN State Capitol Rally in the Rotunda, 75 Rev Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul MN 55155 (1:30-2:30 p.m.)

WHEN:
Monday, March 9, 2020
9:00 a.m.-Noon - Youth Summit and Training
1:30-2:30 p.m. - Rally in the Rotunda with greetings by Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and Representative Mary Kunesh-Podein, and youth with foster care experiences sharing their stories.
2:45-4:30 p.m. - Legislative Meetings

About the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  Established 164 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities.  The 29 Y locations and program sites, eight overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 370,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds.  To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit www.ymcamn.org.