In Foundations of Equitable Youth Engagement, participants will explore the essential ingredients of authentic youth engagement, using the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative’s four pillars of youth engagement (youth-adult partnerships, preparation, opportunities, and support) including the levels of youth engagement and holding a youth engagement perspective that is informed by adolescent brain science and racial equity and inclusion.

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Sponsored by Vitalyst Health Foundation and CFSA.

Featuring Antoinette Rucker and Meghan Arrigo

Antoinette Rucker is a child welfare consultant based out of Atlanta and is currently a Master of Public Administration candidate at Clayton State University. Antoinette is the founder of Fostering Through College (FTC), a comprehensive support program that strives to empower foster youth transitioning into post-secondary education at Albany State University. She strives to empower agencies and organizations to rethink the ways in which they service young people impacted by the child welfare system. Antoinette has served as a Jim Casey Young Fellow for six years and in 2018, she was selected as a participant for the first round of the Results Count Leadership training hosted by The Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Results Count leadership program was born out of a conviction that results-driven leaders are vital to achieving measurable and lasting improvements for kids and families. Antoinette has also served as a member of the National Foster Care Youth & Alumni Policy Council and as a board member for a girls empowerment initiative out of Atlanta called G.E.M.S (Girls Empowered and Motivated to Succeed). Antoinette believes that giving back is a universal opportunity regardless of a person’s background and she holds that anyone who cares has the capacity to create change.

Meghan Arrigo is an activist, coach, and consultant. She has spent the last twenty years coaching and collaborating with young people, community members and system leaders to re-imagine communities centered in justice, equity and inclusion. Meghan is the founder of Arrigo Consulting LLC where she has a private coaching practice focused on holding space for people to design a future rooted in their values, freedom, peace and possibilities. She also currently partners as a Senior Youth Engagement Consultant with Cetera Inc. Cetrea is a proud partner to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Jim Casey Youth Initiative focused on supporting authentic youth engagement efforts in communities across the country. The Initiative works to ensure young people who have experienced foster care have equitable access to resources, relationships and opportunities they need to achieve positive wellbeing in adulthood. Meghan works in collaboration to support these results and partners with young leaders with lived experience in the foster care system to inform policy and practice change at federal, state and local levels.

Meghan is a graduate of Leading for Change; holds a degree in International Relations and Social Policy. She is certified in Positive Youth Development and is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach through the Coactive Training Institute. She is an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation and a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory.

Most importantly Meghan is a mother, sister, wife, daughter and friend. She grew up in Midwest, and most recently after living in the desert for 17 years, she now resides with her husband, son and mother in the Pacific Northwest. Meghan loves to cook, hike, explore, and most of all laugh.