Meet the 2014 Foster Youth Interns!

By Ashleigh Davenport; 2014 FYI Resident Assistant

CCAI is excited to welcome the 2014 Foster Youth Interns (FYI’s) to Washington, D.C. to begin their summer interning on Capitol Hill.  This internship provides individuals who have spent a significant amount of time in the United States foster care system with the opportunity to intern in a United States Congressional office. They will not only share their experiences in foster care, but influence public policy through a report geared toward the improvement of the foster care system.

I remember being in their shoes last year as the excitement of a summer working on Capitol Hill began to build.  Participating in the 2013 Foster Youth Internship program and interning in the office of Senator John Boozman (R-AR) gave me direction in what I wanted to do with my law degree, provided life-long friendships, and gave me a place to tell my story.  This year, I have returned to CCAI and Capitol Hill to help the 2014 class receive everything they can from this amazing opportunity.

As this year’s FYI Resident Assistant, I would like to take a few moments of your time to introduce you to the new interns.  They are a wonderful group of interns that have overcome many challenges in order to make a difference for future generations of foster youth.  Let me tell you all a little bit about our 12 FYI’s:

CCAI 2014 Foster Youth Interns

Kaylia Ervin – Big Rapids, Michigan                                                                                                     Kaylia comes to us from Ferris State University where she studies Criminal Justice and Psychology.  She is passionate about protecting children from the overuse of psychotropic medication and will be interning in the office of Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

Dominique Freeman – Hyattsville, Maryland                                                                           Dominique currently attends Howard University where she is studying Psychology and Political Science.  Dominique plans to become a child psychologist for foster youth, and will be interning in the office of Representative Karen Bass (D-CA).

Darrah Hall – Memphis, Tennessee                                                                                                     Darrah is celebrating her graduation from the University of Memphis where she obtained a degree in both Anthropology and African-American Studies. Darrah will be interning in the Senate Majority Finance Committee this summer.

Kellie Henderson – Phillipsburg, Kansas                                                                                            Kellie received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Kansas in May.  She is passionate about making sure foster youth have financial resources and mentorship as they age out and decide to pursue higher education.  Kellie will be interning in the Senate Minority Finance Committee.

Jane Krienke – Kirksville, Missouri                                                                                                         Jane comes to us with a degree in Communication and Biology with a minor in Spanish from Truman State University.  With a passion for journalism and medicine, Jane will be interning in the office of Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO).

Samuel Leiva – Alexandria, Virginia                                                                                                        Sam attends Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut where he studies American Studies and English.  He is interested in immigration policy, and the effect it has on the foster system. He will be interning in the office of Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

Wilondja Muyoma – Spokane, Washington                                                                                       Wilo was placed in a foster family in Seattle after being separated from his parents in The Congo.  He currently attends Whitworth University where he studies Economics and Politics with a minor in Computer Science. Wilo will be joining the office of Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) for the summer.

Amnoni Myers – Boston, Massachusetts                                                                                       Amnoni joins us from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts where she recently graduated with a double major in Social Work and Sociology.  Amnoni is passionate about breaking the cycle of poverty, and will be interning in the office of Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

Robert (Tony) Parsons – Redford, Michigan                                                                                   Tony is a junior at Michigan State University studying Political Science and Pre-Law.  Tony enjoys singing and theater, and is interested in increasing stability and support for foster and adoptive families.  Tony will be working in the House Majority Ways and Means Committee.

Ta’Kijah (Ty) Randolph – Long Beach, California                                                                             Ty is a senior at California State University Long Beach where she is majoring in Communication and minoring in African Studies.  Ty is interested in the Independent Living Program and Chafee Grant and will be interning in the House Minority Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Emily Satifka – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania                                                                                      Emily joins us from Temple University in Philadelphia where she studies Political Science and Spanish.  In addition to her studies at Temple, she has a certificate in International Teaching English as a Foreign Language Training and teaches ESL classes to older immigrants.  Emily is interning in the office of Senator Bob Casey (D-PA).

Craig Stuart – Mesa, Arizona                                                                                                                       Craig currently attends Arizona State University where he studies Communications and Business.  He is passionate about finding ways to reunify the family by providing more resources to families that are facing hardship.  Craig will be interning in the office of Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ).

Welcome to Capitol Hill FYI Class of 2014! We have been eagerly awaiting your arrival and are so excited that you are finally here. This city stole my heart, and I know you will enjoy all of the opportunities that are available to you here. We look forward to celebrating your accomplishments this summer!