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Tomorrow’s Leaders Today Conference to celebrate foster youth leadership

July 30, 2014

Karen Smigielski

PDF version of news release

About 275 people will come together for the 19th annual Tomorrow’s Leaders Today youth leadership conference, Aug. 6-8, at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Minn.

The conference aims to honor, teach and encourage leadership among current and former foster youths, 16-20, who are not typically represented in other youth leadership programs.

Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson will kick off the conference with brief welcoming remarks. Over the course of two and a half days, participants will listen to keynote speakers and attend workshops, as well as watch artistic and cultural performances.

The Tomorrow’s Leaders Today Conference began in 1995 and was modeled after a national youth leadership development conference by the National Youth Resource Center at the University of Oklahoma.

Following participation at the Minnesota Tomorrow’s Leader Today Conference, youth have gone on to make an impact in their communities. They have been mentors to and have helped run support groups for younger children in foster care. They have also provided insight to state legislators and county workers about providing more transitional housing for homeless people and improving training for foster parents.

The conference is organized by staff from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, county social service agencies, nonprofit agencies serving youth, and former foster care youth.

Last year, youths from eight counties, seven non-profit agency programs and one American Indian reservation attended.

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