Let Them Live Easy

Young adults Tony Facello (green) and Cornelius Carter work with a group as they try and move a ball without touching it, during an activity at the 10th Annual Utah Youth Summit at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City Wednesday, August 1, 2012.  Approximately 200 youth, ages 14 and older - who are in foster care or have ged outof foster care, will gather together for two days to learn the skills needed to transition into adult living. (Brian Nicholson, Deseret News)

Less than a week ago, 200 Utah youth from the foster care system gathered as a collective force for the 10th Annual Utah Youth Summit, each individual met with respect and an unspoken understanding.  The adolescents, ages 14 and older, were youth who would soon be or had already aged out of the foster care system, and shared their stories of struggle and success in order to tackle the heavy topic of life after care.  Taking place on the University of Utah campus, education and inspiration were energy in the atmosphere.  The youth were provided with hope through discussion and activities, bonded by their sameness and beautifully diverse in their differences.  The possibility of a future was revealed in the eyes of one another.  The Summit showcased the strength of adolescent minds brought together and the value of an unrelenting support system that makes individuals feel at home no matter where they are.

Camil Sanchez-Palumbo
IOFA Program Development Intern


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