Florida Youth SHINE gathers four times a year for quarterly meetings. At these meetings, youth representatives from each chapter and mentors from around the state come together for 3 days of fun, learning, and advocacy. Each meeting brings together FYS to talk about the key issues that FYS wants to focus on each year. Members bring the issues that their local chapters have been focusing on and they determine their statewide priorities for the year. They determine these priorities by processing each of the issues, sharing their stories, and their suggestions for improvements. After, they determine their plan for the year in speaking about these topics and making those improvements.
While at Quarterly Meetings, FYS hears from guest speakers and system experts. They also get extensive leadership training, team building, advocacy training, learn about the legislative process, strategic sharing and gain skills in public speaking. They also get to network from others and bring back new ideas to better their chapter.
Monday morning to kick off Children’s Week. They get to walk the steps of the capitol, and feel confident and empowered to change the world. While they are in Tallahassee they meet with dozens of legislators and testify before Senate and House committees. Each year they share their stories about what they feel needs to change in the system. Additionally, they develop and facilitate a youth advocacy workshop that is part of the United Way’s Children’s Week event. Hundreds of youth attend this and learn effective advocacy from their peers. This event proves that when FYS speaks people listen!
Each year Florida Youth SHINE representatives from each chapter and mentors f head to Tallahassee for Children’s Week. Our young advocates flood the capitol to speak to dozens of legislators, staff, public officials, and bring awareness to the issues affecting the child welfare system. Before heading to the capitol FYS participates in an intensive weekend training where they share stories, process issues, have leadership training, learn to work as a team, develop talking points, learn about strategic sharing, speaking with the media, effective advocacy, how bills become laws, about the government structures and budget, and prepare for their meetings with the legislators. FYS hears from guest speakers and many statewide
experts. Following the FYS Training they head to the capitol that