RHF's Parent & Youth Advisory Board
Recognizing a huge gap in our knowledge base, RHF launched our inaugural Parent & Youth Advisory Board in June 2020. Comprised of youth, parents and caregivers impacted by the child welfare system, the Advisory Board plays an integral role in shaping the overall grantmaking strategies and specific funding proposals for the foundation and self-directs a $50,000 grantmaking fund. We’re grateful to our past and present members, who have so generously shared their wisdom & insights and joined in community with us. The foundation is doing better work because of the leadership of these board members.
We are thrilled to introduce you to some of our newest members, who will serve a two-year term with the foundation.
Nittaya Casey is a graduate from SUNY Schenectady County Community College. She will major in accounting, with a minor in public policy and multicultural studies, and intends to become a certified public accountant. She is passionate about advocating for what is fair and looks forward to a life of service. She hopes to be able to use her experiences and perspectives as a former foster youth and an immigrant to serve the P&Y Advisory Board.
Trudy Kent started at Adoption and Foster Family Coalition in May 2017 as a Family Support Specialist. In January of 2022, she was promoted to Director of Hudson Valley AGAPE program, a post adoption program that educates, advocates and offers counseling to families. Trudy’s work at the Coalition is more than a job, because her passion is to help families grow in their connection with one another. Trudy and her husband have been foster/adoptive parents for the past ten years and have adopted three children from their local Department of Social Services.
Hi! My name is Nichole Crane, and I am from Addison, New York! I have my Bachelors in Social Work, and I love helping those that need help!
Hi my name is Karlena Hamblin, I am very excited to be apart of this years cohort. I grew up in the foster care system and aged out at 21. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy while in the system and what makes my advocacy meaningful for me, I’m very dedicated to speaking up and changing the lives of those impacted by the system.
Joshua Michael King
Joshua Michael King is a two-time Cazenovia College graduate, earning an AAS in Fashion Design in 2001 and a BS in Human Services in 2010. King is the CEO of Masking & Kompany, which offers consulting in the areas of management, development and planning, education, as well as advocacy. His experience is in policy, programming and project & production development that targets marginalized and disenfranchised populations. He has been commended for having designed specialized homeschooling curriculum for his two Young Kings, Javonte and Jayden; which has been implemented in homes around the country. King made history during the COVID19 Pandemic, having become Syracuse's only Black Gay CEO and the only organization in NY State to become fully incorporated as a 501c3.
Hello! My name is Justina Sierra and I’m currently on the advisory board. At first when I was presented with this opportunity I thought who would listen to me and what I have to say about my experience being in foster care, right? My goal is to speak on uncomfortable topics and ask uncomfortable questions. I’m here to give hope and faith to those still in the system. If you feel alone, I want you to know you’re not.
Mariama Toe-Freeland has been connected in advocacy for over 10 years. She was introduced to advocacy through attending Youth Power events. Returning home she shortly became a YP board member under the leadership of Stephanie Orlando, where she used her love for creativity to serve on the special events work group. Mariama has attended many rallies, speak outs, conferences to amplify youth voices and help change policies to better support youth and young adults.
Hi My Name is Daniesha Brown I'm aspiring to be a Parallel Legal I'm currently in school online I have passion to be the voice of the next generation ChildWelfare/FosterCare to implement change and rights.