PRESS RELEASE: Alaskan Earns National Casey Foundation Award for Local Foster Care Work

(JUNEAU) – Alaska foster youth advocate and peer support group leader Amanda Metivier, herself a former foster youth, has just returned to Anchorage with a prestigious award. From a broad selection of former foster youth from all 50 states, Metivier has won the Casey Family Foundation’s Excellence for Children alumni award. Metivier went from foster care to college, earned her Master of Social Work at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and now helps foster youth and alumni at the University succeed in school.

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NEWS: 3rd Annual Holiday Laptops for Foster Youth Drive – Improving One Life At A Time

(ANCHORAGE) – Today Rep. Les Gara and the foster care group, Facing Foster Care In Alaska (FFCA), are launching the third annual Laptops for Foster Youth Holiday Drive. Over the past two years this drive has resulted in approximately 200 matches for youth. “Laptops are crucial to helping youth improve their chances of success in school, and establishing normalcy in very disrupted lives of youth who often have very few material possessions,” said Gara, a former foster youth whose father was killed when he was 6.

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Note from Rep. Gara: A Blatantly Alarmist E-News: Help A Foster Youth Lead A Good Life

I hope this letter finds you well. It finds me well. But it finds hundreds of Alaska’s foster youth needing help if they are to have a chance to fulfill the dreams they are entitled to pursue as Americans and Alaskans. And they need your help.

Below is an opinion piece I have run in newspapers. In case you missed it – here’s my “post-election bickering, put politics aside” heart tug.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Rehabilitating the Truth On Oil Taxes, Avoidable School Cuts, Record UA Foster Youth Enrollment

Would You Like Some Facts With Your Hyperbole, Sir?

It hasn’t surprised me to hear some of the claims on the oil tax debate this past year. The implication is that those who didn’t support the Governor’s $2 billion giveaway (which allows companies to take our tax dollars and spend them outside Alaska if they wish) are happy with the status quo. Horsepucky. Hey, did you know there is no computer spell check for horsepucky? Well, that’s not important. Anyway, no one in the Legislature voted for the status quo. NO ONE.

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Note from Rep. Gara: It’s Back! Summer Used/New Laptop, Mentor and Foster Parent Drive

Want to change a life for the better? Want it to be easy? Have we got a deal for you! May is National Foster Care Month, and in conjunction with that we have launched our second annual summer “Laptops for Foster Youth Drive”. And, don’t worry. No laptop? There are other ways to help, ranging from easy to not so easy.

Option 1: Donate a New or Quality Used Laptop

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NEWS: Gara Launches Summer Foster Youth Laptop Drive

Today, Rep. Les Gara launched the Summer Foster Youth Laptop Drive designed to pair foster youth with laptop computers donated by generous Alaskans.

“Past holiday drives were very successful, so we’re hoping to spread that success throughout the year,” said Rep. Gara, whose office started this effort with foster youth advocate Amanda Metivier two years ago.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Holiday Laptop Drive a Success, So We’re Extending It Another 364 Days! And Other Volunteer Opportunities.

I hope you’re having a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and all around good holiday season. And I wanted to let you in on some good holiday news (and one more volunteer opportunity you might like).

Here’s what you don’t want to know. I also found out how long it takes to work off a typical Christmas and Holiday dinner, cookie and bowls of pistachio nut diet. That’s what I’d classify as annoying news. So, really, why dwell on it. I’ll just take this one for the team, suffer alone, and keep that information to myself. And… I will be off to the gym after we get this letter out.

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Note from Rep. Gara: 2nd Annual Holiday Laptops for Foster Youth Drive – Improving One Life At A Time

This week we are launching our second annual “Laptops for Foster Youth Drive”. Since last year we have matched over 60 youth with good, late model used and new laptops. Youth have used these laptops for school, to transport pictures of their families and friends, and to lead a life that more closely resembles those of their peers outside of foster care.

If you have a quality used, or new laptop you’d like to donate, please let us know, and we’ll help you make someone’s life better! The criteria for the laptops we are looking for is at the end of the e-mail. If you want to donate funds to purchase one or more laptops, we can help arrange that too.

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