Kentucky lawmakers focused their attention on some of the young citizens of the commonwealth during Children’s Advocacy Day. Two Dozen True Up youth traveled to Frankfort for the January 16 event. They joined hundreds of other advocates – social workers, teachers, judges, doctors and other youth – to voice the shared message of putting Kentucky children first.
Advocates issued a call for action in the name of Kentucky children, urging lawmakers to make the well-being of children a top budget priority. They called for additional funding and attention to safety, health, education and economic issues affecting youth in Kentucky.
Two rallies were part of the excitement of the day including a rally attended by Governor Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear. “It was truly empowering and inspirational,” said Joseph B., 19 years old. “It was an excellent event and I hope to return to Frankfort next year to continue to call attention to these important issues.”
Joseph said a highlight of the day was sitting in the gallery of the House of Representatives during a working session. Joseph and his colleagues from True Up not only attended sessions in the House and Senate, but they were also recognized in both chambers.
Representative Kelly Flood (D-Lexington) took to the House floor to express the need for mentors for youth in foster care, highlighting a top concern for True Up youth. Foster youth have the greatest chance of success if they have at least one trusted person in their lives to help guide them. Advocates called for support of a state-wide mentoring program to help increase the chance of success for foster youth in Kentucky.
The lesson in politics continued outside of the legislative chambers as True Up youth took a guided tour of the Capitol and had a chance to meet with several lawmakers.