Angel Burdick

I am a 26-year-old former foster youth from Sonoma County. I have enjoyed advocating for foster youth ever since I began extended foster care. I’ve previously started and facilitated a study group for foster youth and was a peer mentor at TLC’s Transitional Housing Program. I have also done advocacy for Santa Rosa Junior College’s Next Up Program. They were to see a 70% reduction in financing, leading to layoffs and a reduction in student support services. This reduction was stopped, and Next Up was given further funding after discussions with state congress and meetings with the state budget subcommittee. I currently work with special needs and emotionally distressed children as a behavior and educational specialist, where I share my knowledge of effective ways of working with the developing brain, early childhood education, trauma-informed practices, and behavior intervention. I am continuing my education at Sonoma State, where I plan to become a special education teacher. I enjoy working as a Youth Ambassador in Sonoma County, using my experience and collecting those of other former foster youth to strengthen projects and policies involving them. I firmly believe in the saying “Nothing for us, without us,” and I apply it to everything I do. I look forward to reviewing over 75 youth who participated in my previous focus groups and establishing a young advisory council that the county can consult for guidance. I aim to lay the groundwork for youth and the county to use and build upon after I eventually move on.