Welcome to Episode 7 of These Are Our Kids: A Podcast for JDAIconnect.
When we recall the 21-Day Equity Challenge, on day one we asked “What is your why?”. Many of you all shared heartfelt, sincere stories about people- impacted youth, families, communities are all part of the reason why you show up and do the work. Well, our season would not be complete without hearing from the youth.
Today's very special episode features a conversation with Lakeisha Phelps and Jasmine Jones, youth leaders from Nebraska. This discussion illuminates the power of youth perspective and resilience.
Here are the profiles of our guest on today’s episode:
Jasmine Jones grew up in the Miller Park area of North Omaha. She has had her fair share of experiences in the foster care system and the juvenile justice system. Jasmine states, “I never had a childhood nor a teenage life either. I was stripped from myself to conform to someone I wasn’t. I didn’t even get a chance to find myself until I aged out, and to this day I’m still searching for her!!”
Lakeisha Phelps is a Youth Navigator with the Nebraska Family Support Network. Lakeisha does this work with a passion born of lived experience in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Lakeisha entered foster care at age 10 and aged out at 19 after 88 placements. Lakeisha brings “youth voice” to teams/committees such as Youth Impact, Runaway Taskforce, Operation Youth Success, and Systems of Care Leadership Council. She facilitates the Juvenile Justice Youth Council. Lakeisha represents Nebraska on the Copeland Center National Youth Advisory Council. She is a trained WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) facilitator for both adults and youth.
Auri had an open and honest conversation about the journey that led them to engage with the system, how they have overcome and persisted through trauma, and what they have learned so far about working in the juvenile justice reform space. The warmth and vulnerability in this conversation led us down a path of unpacking aspects of detention that are typically unique to women and girls involved with the system. Topics such as sex trafficking, abuse and neglect, developmentally inappropriate punishments are addressed with candor and sensitivity.
Here are some resources highlighted in our conversation. These resources live outside of JDAIconnect but could be useful for community members who are impacted or who work with folks who need extra support:
Thank you to Operation Youth Success for investing in the type of opportunities that allow for youth to thrive. Thank you, Shelly Salter, for advocating for youth voice and for always following through. Most importantly, thank you Lakeisha and Jasmine for showing up to the conversation with such vibrance and presence. Anyone willing to listen will indubitably learn from you both.
What did you learn from this episode? What part of Lakeisha and/or Jasmine’s story resonated with you the most? Looking forward to your comments about our conversation.
We hope you enjoy Episode 7 of These Are Our Kids: A Podcast for JDAIconnect.