Focus 2018: Workshop Session I Presenters

Federal Policy Impacting Runaway and Homeless Youth Services (OD)
Presenter: Eric Masten, Director of Public Policy, National Network for Youth

Eric Masten joined the National Network for Youth in March 2016 as the Director of Public Policy. He comes to NN4Y with more than a decade of policy experience on Capitol Hill and with nonprofits at the national, state and local levels on a wide range of domestic issues. He combines policy and communications strategy development and advocacy through a broad range of effective methods including organizational programs, coalitions and diverse stakeholder engagement.

Eric has worked on extensively on issues impacting youth and other populations in need of community support. While at the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Eric coordinated the organization’s support of NN4Y and other coalition partners on youth homelessness issues.

Most recently, Eric served as the Director of Health Policy, Advocacy and Communications with Healthy Howard, Inc., a community-based direct service nonprofit in Columbia, Maryland.  Prior to moving to the nonprofit sector, Eric worked for US Senator Patty Murray in her Washington, DC office. Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Western Washington University.

Safe Place Community Partnerships (SP)
Presenters: Sarah Beers, Safe Place Coordinator, Youth Services Tulsa; Cynthia Hoffman, Youth Street Outreach Program Manager, Synergy Services; and Timothy Schouten, Safe Place Coordinator, Synergy Services

Sarah Beers holds an MSW degree and has worked with runaway and homeless youth and Safe Place since 2009. Currently Sarah serves at Youth Services of Tulsa as the Safe Place Program Coordinator. She has been with Youth Services of Tulsa, and served the urban area of Tulsa County since 2015.

Cynthia Hoffman is the Youth Street Outreach Program Manager for Synergy Services, a non-profit in Kansas City that provides programs and services to end family violence, abuse, and neglect. Cynthia has also served as the Coordinator of the Kansas City Metro Safe Place Program throughout the last 3 years. Before that, Cynthia was an Assistant Program Manager, Youth Advocate, and Youth Mentor for Synergy’s Transitional Living Program. Prior to working at Synergy, Cynthia worked as a school social worker in the Kansas City Missouri Public School district. Before entering the social work field, Cynthia was the marketing and development coordinator for Sierra Nevada Journeys, a grass roots non-profit organization in Reno, Nevada, that provides hands-on science and environmental education for K-12 youth.

Timothy Schouten joined Synergy Service's Youth Street Outreach team in 2016 helping homeless and at-risk youth find stable housing and connecting youth with community resources. Cynthia Hoffman, Safe Place Coordinator, brought Timothy on as Safe Place Co-coordinator to help coordinate the Safe Place program for Kansas City, Missouri and surrounding areas at the beginning of 2018.

My VCP: Choosing Values for a Path of Success (YE)
Presenter: Tiffany Martin, Project Manager, Florida Network of Youth and Family Services

With a genuine love for children and an energetic flare, Tiffany Martin has been able to find her passion with working with and for children of all ages. Beginning her professional career as a Residential Substance Abuse Counselor, Martin was met with the reality of providing services to challenging populations. After nearly two years, she decided to expand her professional skills and journey to obtain her Masters in Social Work at Florida State University.  After transitioning to prevention at a local middle school, the necessity for quality services for such a precious resource, the youth, became even clearer. Only three days after graduation with her MSW she would continue her voyage to Someplace Else Crisis Shelter at Capital City Youth Services (CCYS). One year later, another move was on the horizon as she became the Transitional Living Program Manager at CCYS with the opportunity to develop a long term residential program from ground zero. It was here she became thoroughly convinced of the much larger challenges and barriers teens face growing up in a society and within systems that are broken but not beyond repair. As current Project Manager of Research and Operations at the Florida Network, Martin strives to partner with others to identify and implement creative and innovative solutions to providing quality services and support to children and the agencies that serve them.

Direct Service: Our Responsibility to Homeless Youth and Families (TC)
Presenters: Shavonne M. Gibson and KiAndra Hilliard

KiAndra Hilliard is 21 years old and a mother to a little girl named Miranna. She is currently working on general studies at Ivy Tech and is hoping to be at the University of Louisville by 2020 to get her Bachelor's in political science. She is currently on the Continuum of Care board and also serves on the Host Home board.

Painting the Pillars of Your Life (PD)
Presenter: George Miller II, Owner/Artist, George Miller Art Studio

George E. Miller is a child advocacy artist. That is to say all of the artwork he creates advocates for the education, well- being and mental health of children. Miller has devoted more than 20 years of his life to creating artwork that advocates for children. All of his artwork is hand drawn and hand painted. Miller sells prints of his original works and has been commissioned to create works of art by numerous child advocacy organizations across the country, including The Child Welfare League of America, The National Federation of Families, The Center for School Mental Health, The National Youth at Risk Association, The International Reading Association and the 9th World Congress on Mental Health to name a few. Every piece of artwork on display in Miller’s exhibit has been commissioned by some agency or organization working in support of children.

In 2015 he was selected as Florida’s African American Artist of the year. His artwork entitled "Each One Teach One, Bringing Down The Walls of Illiteracy" was selected by Florida First Lady Ann Scott and Governor Rick Scott to hang in the governor's Mansion in Tallahassee. If you're old enough, you may remember seeing Miller's "It Takes A Village To Raise A Child" artwork in the Disney Movie "The Preacher's Wife" starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston.