A new vision: Local looking to create nonprofit for foster youth program
November 7, 2008
Gia States thinks that the Truckee-Tahoe areas resources both natural and human could make the difference for foster youth.Both the wilderness and the locals experienced in it could lend themselves to self-exploration, teamwork, and leadership, States said.And the local art community has the tools are already in place to help the disenfranchised wards of the state express themselves creatively, she said.I dont want to reinvent the wheel I see myself as a coordinator, States said.To be that coordinator, States is starting a nonprofit called Remix, to find funding and bring community members together for the benefit of foster youth, States said.Im not trying to get people to adopt, States said. Here is a way to give something through donating or volunteering without bringing a kid into your home.She said she wants to go after foster youth between 14 and 21 right before they age out of the system to help them prepare to face the world on their own.The goal would be to start with a three-week course this coming summer, splitting the time between the backcountry and base camp working in art, music, or photography, States said.But States was quick to say she doesnt want the support to end after three weeks.In all these great programs kids have break-throughs and go home, and then what? States said. She wants to create relationships with the youth, and ultimately bring them back three years in a row, States said.Im a big dreamer, and this is really big, States said.But as one dream for a foster youth program takes shape, another one could be dying or at least put on hold.Michael Rogers, owner of Shinneyboo Creek Cabin Resort on the western side of Donner Summit, had a vision of a sustainable community for foster youth.Rogers had his eye on nearly 20,000 acres of Pacific Gas andamp; Electric-owned land that under a bankruptcy settlement was allocated to the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, Rogers said.We didnt get the grant we applied for, and things have changed in my personal life not enabling me to donate volunteer work, Rogers said. But the land is still there and the opportunity is still there.States said she may take that vision and run with it, also working towards an ultimate goal of an independant living center in the area.I want them to have the opportunity to work in construction, retail, at a ski resort, or go to Sierra College, States said.
In her first step towards fundraising for the foster youth program, Gia States has put together a calendar called Soul Beautiful, celebrating women, that takes 80 percent of the $20 price for the Remix program.The calendars are available now at Wild Cherries, True Skin Spa, and Fair andamp; Green in Truckee, States said.She said she has a goal of raising $20,000 with the calendar, and will be looking for matching grants from public and private donors.Beyond money, States said shes looking for local volunteers to help guide outdoor trips, teach art, music, photography, or other creative skill-sets.For those interested in the Remix program, contact States at (530) 545-1413, or go to http://www.soulbeautiful.org.