In light of Code.org's 'Learn to Code' viral youtube video, our founder and Opportunity Nation Leader wrote about using tech to 'Innovate For Good'. "During The 2012 Opportunity Nation Conference breakout sessions, I spoke with corporate leaders who want to hire at-risk youth for technical jobs but cannot quantify desired domain skill sets (like coding). Foster Skills will use Smarterer's skills tests and measuring platform to pilot a program intended to create more pathways to the workforce for foster kids. In addition, we will be engaging LinkedIn to have conversations about using their platform to build an online community that connects successful foster care alum with youth are aging out. If successful, our model could be used to help all at-risk youth." To see full blog post, click here.
During Black History Month,The Boston Globe profiled our organization. "Today, Cabrera runs Foster Skills, a Boston-based nonprofit mentoring program he founded for foster kids. He has a volunteer staff of more than 50 and partners with groups like The Home for Little Wanderers. And his organization has connected more than 270 kids with needed social services and has worked with foster care agencies in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Michigan. Foster Skills was a finalist in the 2012 Nonprofit Excellence Awards." Click here to read.
Mayor Menino gave our Founder and CEO a Certificate of Recognition for his work within The City of Boston. The Boston Globe profiled our organization. Boston City Councillor Tito Jackson said, "[Marquis has] assembled a dream team that is passionate about the future of young people," Jackson said. "It's not about giving people a handout, but what Foster Skills is really based on is giving people a hand up and giving them the opportunity to be the next Marquis Cabrera." Click here to read.
The Case Foundation out of 1,200 applicants picked our founder and Foster Skills as a Finding Fearless Winner! Our "work stood out because [we] make big bets, experiment early and often, make failure matter, reach beyond [our] bubble and let urgency conquer fear as [we] work to change your community and the world! See here to read Jean Case's blog on how winners were selected. Also, to learn more about our founder and impact, See here
Microsoft has announced that Marquis Cabrera at Foster Skills has been selected as The YouthSpark Changemaker. "In addition to supporting the Finding Fearless competition, we wanted to showcase a young person who is doing incredible work to make a difference. Partnering with The Case Foundation we created a special Microsoft YouthSpark prize, designed to recognize a young fearless changemaker." See here for blog article. They also selected him as a "YouthSpark Star of The Week" and did a follow-up interview about with him to see how he was using technology to grow the organization. See here for interview.
The White House featured our Founder and CEO's story of overcoming and public service on their blog. He wrote, "While working for City Year in 2008, I learned that dedicated champions are needed to truly affect change. People must be selfless in order to advance their societies; the socially minded and fortunate must be willing to share their time and treasure because they care."
Marquis' blog was published in NPR's 'This I Believe Series'. Numerous dignitaries and socialites, such as Bill Gates, President Clinton, and many more have written and been published in the series. See full here for short essay. In addition, The LeapYear Project will feature Marquis' founding of Foster Skills and his worldview in their upcoming book. To view some of his 'leap', see here.
Reaching Out MBA invited our founder to speak on a social innovation about the future of the nonprofit sector and education at their 2012 Conference. Cabrera spoke about growing business models and developing income-generating-activities (IGAs) to become more innovative. He said, "nonprofits can legally raise 33% of their revenue outside of their mission. We must re-examine our business models and become more entrepreneurially in our thinking. Let's chart a new vanguard, for we must adapt to for-profit social innovation models, although we make up a little over 5% of the national GDP."
The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) has announced that Marquis Cabrera at Foster Skills, an education and youth organization in Woburn, has been selected as a finalist for the 2012 Nonprofit Excellence Awards. The Excellence Awards are given each year to outstanding nonprofit organizations and professionals in the Commonwealth as part of MNN's Nonprofit Awareness Day, a statewide holiday recognizing the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts. See here for press release. In addition, The Massachusetts Secretary and Receiver General, Steven Grossman, awarded Marquis with a positive citation due to his work MNN recognition.
The Times Herald Record wrote an article about Foster Skills for foster care month: "Foster Skills volunteers focus on skills ranging from building resiliency to learning to find suitable housing. Marquis hopes to eventually expand Foster Skills out of Boston and build a cadre of foster care alumni in other areas, as well."
Opportunity Nation hosted a summit on November 3rd, featuring speakers such as Michael Bloomberg, Fareed Zakaria, Ariana Huffington, Deval Patrick, and our very own Marquis Cabrera. Katharine Herrup from Reuters has written this article about the event. You can hear Marquis' inspiring story on our voices page.
We are grateful to Northeastern University for writing this profile of founder and Northeastern alum Marquis Cabrera. Of Foster Skills and its staff, the article said: "With the help of Northeastern graduates armed with a wealth of experience from their co-ops at top finance, accounting, design and tax firms; and with guidance from faculty advisors, Cabrera said Foster Skills will help Boston's foster youth achieve life success." In addition, 'Let's Talk', a student publication also at Northeastern for entrepreneurs, included an article on Foster Skills in its June 2011 issue. And Northeastern's Her Campus wrote an article about our founding story with a call to action for potential volunteers. "College students can volunteer with the organization, which is about to launch its life skills service program next month."
Latina Lista, a blog dedicated to "Linking Latinas from All Around the World", says that "Foster Skills works at empowering foster care children to rise above their challenges and succeed" in this post from July 2011.
Several Foster Skills staffers attended On the Road to Educational Equality, a town hall which provided many key insights into opportunities for improvement in the Massachusetts foster care system. The event was organized by Fostering Media Connections in collaboration with the Harvard Law School Child Advocacy Program. [image: Foster Skills staffer Nicole Fichera chats with former foster youth and actress Victoria Rowell at the Educational Equality Town Hall. Image via the Huffington Post.]