Did you know that 2.5 % of foster care youth graduate from a four-year college and 74% of foster care youth are sex trafficking victims? COVID-19 has created a situation where foster care youth are more susceptible to sex-trafficking, incarceration, and crime. With many colleges deciding to go online for the first semester, homeless aged-out foster youth have no living arrangements either.
BranchOut! will be hosting a speaker event where aged-out foster care advocate, Tony Lodge, will detail the issues that concern youth from the foster care system, how his experiences with homelessness has shaped his advocacy, and what you can do to help struggling youth.
Speaker: Tony Lodge
Moderator: Yuhsien Wu
The session will be moderated by Dr. Yuhsien Wu, co-founder of Veritas Education Leaders and chair of Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance - DC. As a woman minority entrepreneur and educator, Dr. Wu has been invited to speak at events on topics including race relations, international education, and mental wellness by organizations such as Harvard University and McDonald's Education Workshops. Because of her passion to bring equity to all and raise cross-cultural awareness, she co-created BranchOut!, a youth community outreach program in 2015. As an award winning program, BranchOut! has launched several innovative projects to bring the communities closer together.
Tony Lodge is an aged-out foster care youth advocate and works as an Executive Board Member at SUN Scholars to provide resources for foster youth. Despite aging out of foster-care in Kentucky, Mr. Lodge decided to pursue a sciences education while homeless and is now studying at Georgetown University. He currently works with multiple D.C. agencies such as the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) to address foster-care reforms at the national level.