Rising Above the Odds


“Rising Above the Odds Against Me” was the title of the 2010 Foster Care Youth Leadership Conference that was conducted on Saturday, May 8, at Oakland University in Rochester. Taking part in the conference were (l-r) Mary Schusterbauer, chief of Oakland County Youth Assistance; Dr. Alduan Tartt, who maintains a popular positive psychology practice in Decatur, GA; Dr. Gail Parker, a psychologist in private practice in Bingham Farms; Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Edward Sosnick; and Cherish Thomas, a 22-year-old Foster Care alum who is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan Sociology and African American Studies undergraduate programs and a currently a student in the School of Social Work Graduate program as a child welfare scholar and former foster child. Thomas and Sosnick joined together with a committee of court and family service agencies to create the conference as a forum where youth transitioning out of foster care could discuss their challenges and ambitions and be encouraged to develop a plan for achieving their goals.

Photo by John Meiu.