March 04, 2024

Friends of the Children Network Leaders Advocate on Capitol Hill for Paid, Professional Mentoring

Leaders from 36 communities representing youth from more than​​ 650 U.S. schools called on Members of Congress to pass a bill prioritizing youth impacted by foster care, mental health issues and other systemic barriers

On February 6th-8th, Friends of the Children – Network Executive Directors, Board Chairs, and members of the Friends - National team convened in Washington, D.C. to advocate for paid, professional mentoring for youth impacted by foster care, mental health issues, and other systemic barriers. These leaders represented youth from 36 locations and more than 650 across the country all delivering the message: put children first.

“Every child deserves the chance to reach their inherent potential,” said Terri Sorensen, national CEO of Friends of the Children. “For more than 30 years, Friends of the Children has demonstrated that with support from a paid, professional mentor, children and families are able to reach for their dreams and overcome great obstacles. We are proud that Congressional members on both sides of the aisle are open to working with our network to realize our vision that every child who needs a Friend has one.”

Leaders met with more than 70 Congressional offices in both the House and Senate over two days, including in-person meetings with: Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Friends of the Children also held a reception at the AT&T Forum near Capitol Hill to celebrate our 30th anniversary as well as awarding Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) with the Champion for Children Award for his unwavering commitment to the well-being of our most vulnerable children. The 30th anniversary celebration also included remarks from Freddi McCullers, a graduate of the Friends of the Children program, to share how having a Friend impacted her life.

Learn more policy priorities which Friends of the Children asked Members of Congress to support by clicking here.