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Unsettled: A Storytelling Project From DePaul
Unsettled: A Storytelling Project From DePaul

Unsettled: A Storytelling Project From DePaul

Welcome to Unsettled: A Storytelling Project from DePaul.

At DePaul, we believe stories have the power to inform, inspire, unite, and make change. This project is our chance to share powerful stories with the hope of reaching you, our listeners. Join us for our first step in the storytelling project journey—Unsettled: Aging Out.

Imagine living part of your childhood in a system … moving from home to home … you’re floating and never finding a safe place to land. Then you age out of that system, you are too old to stay and not quite ready to go. You are no longer floating but instead free falling into the unknown.

This is Unsettled: Aging Out, a podcast from DePaul Community Resources. Unsettled: Aging Out is hosted and produced by Alison Wickline.

Listen Now:

Find Us On:

  • Apple
  • Google
  • Spotify
  • Pandora
  • iHeartRadio
  • Podchaser
  • Stitcher
  • TuneIn/Alexa

Aging Out: Cat

A young woman poses for a pictureCat entered the foster care system in 2017 when she was 16 years old. She has lived in group homes, behavioral health centers, in an ex-boyfriend’s house, even in the hospital for a few days. She struggles with dark thoughts. But she also dreams of one day being a software developer and working for Google. She just doesn’t know if that dream is possible for someone like her … a former foster youth.

Additional Guests:

  • Carrie Elswick, independent living specialist at DePaul
  • Christy Bonavita, manager of training and family support at DePaul

Aging Out: Elias

A young man poses for the camera in front of treesIt was 2011. Elias and his family were living in Tanzania, Africa. In a moment, a split-second, their world was turned upside down. Elias’ father was tragically killed by a close family friend. A few years after that massive loss, the family made a move—thousands of miles away to Virginia as refugees. It wasn’t long before Elias and his younger siblings entered the foster care system.

Additional Guests:

  • Christy Bonavita, manager of training and family support at DePaul
  • Hope Robinson, director of foster care and independent living at DePaul

Aging Out: Chelséa

A young woman sits in chair smilingChelséa was 17 years old when she entered the foster care system. She entered the system after her mom was given about a month to improve their living situation and did not. For the next few years Chelséa would float from place to place hoping for something to hold onto, to help the pain and loss and disappointment subside.

Additional Guests:

  • Chris Tompkins, regional recruiter at DePaul
  • Christy Bonavita, manager of training and family support at DePaul

What’s Wrong, What’s Needed, and What’s Next

In the final episode, host Alison Wickline is joined by people involved in Virginia’s child welfare system in various ways. Join them as they dive deeper into the child welfare system, into foster care, into the issue of aging out.

Guests:

  • Amanda Stanley, president and CEO of DePaul
  • Renee Brown, vice president of child and family services at DePaul
  • Senator Monty Mason (District 1), serves as co-chair of the Foster Care Caucus and is a member of the State Executive Council overseeing implementation of the Children’s Services Act
  • Allison Gilbreath, policy and programs director at Voices for Virginia’s Children
  • Ryan Dowis, executive director of the Family Focused Treatment Association

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