Thursday, March 27, 2008

First Lady Perdue Hosts Youth Advocacy Forum

Today First Lady Mary Perdue hosted a round table discussion led by youth advocates from the group Georgia EmpowerMEnt. The group consists of former and present foster care youth, between the ages of 14 – 26, who serve as a positive voice for Georgia children in foster care.

“I am so proud of the young men and women who participate in Georgia EmpowerMEnt,” said First Lady Mary Perdue. “Not only do they champion improvements to our foster care system, but they also set a positive example for their peers.”

The group visited the mansion as part of the First Lady’s Kids First Initiative, an arm of the Our Children Campaign. Georgia EmpowerMEnt works with community and political leaders, as well as state and private organizations, in order to jump-start their initiatives. The youth advocates’ direct involvement will help develop a state-wide effort for change within the foster care system. There are currently about 4,100 foster parents in Georgia and about 14,000 children in foster care.

“It is imperative that we listen to the voices of Georgia’s foster youth,” said First Lady Mary Perdue. “It is with their insight and participation that we can continue to strive for a stronger, safer Georgia.”

Each month, as part of her Kids First initiative, the First Lady highlights organizations that make a difference in the lives of Georgia’s children. The Kids First Initiative is part of the Our Children Campaign aims to spur a new era of collaboration among Georgia's many communities - individuals, corporations, organizations, foundations and faith-based communities, and to increase the level of volunteerism on behalf of Georgia's children around the state.

To find out more information or to learn how you can support the foster children in your community, visit and follow the link to the First Lady's Our Children Campaign or call 1-866-786-6661.
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