Skip to content Skip to navigation

TGB 2019 - Child Welfare, Youth Rights, and Foster Care

Basic Information
Application Process: 
Trip Name: 
Child Welfare, Youth Rights, and Foster Care
Air Travel Trip: 
Number of Participants: 
Trip Description: 
This trip focuses on exploring, not exploiting, youth experiences and practicing effective advocacy for child welfare and youth rights. Its mission is to help students understand the child welfare system and gain insight into the experiences of other youth and peers who have been through the foster care system. We hope to inspire students to continue the work of advocacy on campus in their academic careers or even in future professional careers. Students will learn about the foster care system, reasons why youth enter the system, and the different types of placements (foster homes, group homes, transitional housing). We will learn about many aspects of child welfare such as health, education, and children's rights. Students will have the opportunity to meet with social workers and children’s lawyers to learn about the role of the justice system in foster care. Our itinerary involves a visit to children's court, where we will sit in on cases. We will also be visiting other universities with well-established support groups for foster youth, such as UC Berkeley and CSU East Bay. We will discuss important laws and legislation that impact the foster care experience, such as AB12. We would like students on this trip to leave with a new perspective on family/childhood experiences and an increased understanding and visibility of the foster care and homeless community at Stanford.
Application Link: 
Trip Leaders
Mia Leonard is a senior from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She entered the foster care system at the age of fifteen, along with her younger brother, and remained in custody of the state for roughly one year. She began Stanford as a pre-med bioengineering major but quickly discovered her love for psychology and neuroscience, and now majors in Psychology (with a Neuroscience concentration) and minors in German Studies. Her experiences pre-, post-, and during her time in care remain central aspects of her identity and have shaped her college experience, particularly in issues surrounding blood versus chosen family and belonging. She remains connected to her identity as a member of Fostering Connections and by mentoring youth from around the country who also face housing and/or financial instability. She’s also. Very excited to lead the Juvenile Justice trip and foster care youth issues and experiences to the greater Stanford community. Contact Mia at
Jessica Mi is a junior from the town of Hayward in the east San Francisco Bay Area. She entered the foster care system in Alameda county at 14 years old and is still a youth of the system today under extended foster care legislation AB12. At Stanford she discovered her passion for environmental issues and is studying Earth Systems with a concentration in Human-Environmental Systems. Jessica feels that her experiences in the system were crucial to shaping the person she is today and remains connected to her identity through the student group Fostering Connections, an initiative sponsored by the FLI office that supports Stanford students with non-traditional family backgrounds. She is excited to have the opportunity to lead the Juvenile Justice Thanksgiving Back Trip to share her story and the stories of other foster youth with the greater Stanford community. Contact Jessica at