You Are Not Alone - YANA

a group for youth adoptees

Youth Adoptee Support Group LogoAdopted youth, teens and young adults have unique struggles

The Youth Adoptee Support Group a.k.a. YANA provides a safe place for developing friendships, leadership, learning together and meeting like experienced humans and focusing on connection!  It’s perfect for adopted youth ages 8-12 years old.

We are extremely excited to announce the launch of A New Beginning’s new and improved Youth Adoptee Support Group, YANA.  YANA (You Are Not Alone) is a support group for youth adoptees that focuses on connection.  The connection is with other youth adoptees who relate to the unique adoption experiences.  The Youth Adoptee Support Group is a safe place to connect, have fun and most of all, realize YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Living in a world that is filled with negativity it is important to have a community of people who uplift and fill you. We are planning on meeting twice a month over Zoom due to COVID 19. We have activities planned for each night. We can’t wait to meet and connect with your kids!

Meet Jenna
Meet Maddi

YANA is led by our peer mentors Richard Lucarelli, Elijah Smith, Jenna Pearl and Maddi Ames. Richard and Maddi are Foster Adoptees and Jenna is an International Adoptee from China. Richard, Maddi and Eli are peer mentors who work closely with other children who have been adopted.  Their roles as peer mentors are to connect with the adopted kids and help them navigate emotional ups and downs and their transitions into their adoptive families. Jenna works as a peer mentor and A New Beginning’s cultural ambassador for the agency.   Jenna’s primary role is to connect transracial and transcultural kids to people and appropriate organizations within their community to help honor their heritage.  Jenna also  helps families navigate and identify resources to for their transracial or transcultural child.

As a group, the peer mentors all have different adoption stories and experiences and want to help other adopted kids as they grow and discover their own stories.  YANA plans on addressing many different topics such as dating 101, cultural confidence, body image classes, understanding your own story,  and so much more!

Youth Adoptee Mentor Support Group Meetings via Zoom

For Youth Adoptees 8-12 years old

All meetings are held at 7 pm via zoom.  RSVP is required and then zoom credentials will be sent.

  • January 29, 2021,   @ 7 pm – RSVP
  • February 12, 2021, JEOPARDY NIGHT  @ 7 pm- RSVP
  • February  26, 2021, BENEATH THE MASK ACTIVITY @ 7 pm –RSVP
  • March 12, 2021, SHOW & TELL @ 7 pm –RSVP
  • March 26, 2021, BENEATHE THE MASK ACTIVITY  @ 7 pm –RSVP
  • April 9, 2021, FREEZE DANCE @ 7 pm –RSVP
  • April 23, 2021, FAMILY TREE @ 7 pm –RSVP
  • May 7, 2021, GAME NIGHT @ 7 pm –RSVP
  • May 21, 2021, DEALING WITH BULLYING @ 7 pm –RSVP

Check out what the Youth Mentors have been up to…

Maddi was asked to speak at a local fundraising event about her own personal Foster-Care experience and adoption.  It was the first time she shared it in person publicly.  Powerful, emotional and proof Maddi is strong, determined and a leader, her words touched many of the participants at the event.   Thank you Maddi!

The YANA Youth Mentors spend time preparing for their bi-monthly Zoom parties.  This is Richard finishing up his family tree.

Jenna is also A New Beginning’s Cultural Ambassador and often speaks on panels to help education potential adoptive families about trans-racial adoption.  Here she is with Sally Guyer, Clinical Director, talking to families who are adopting through the US Foster-Adopt program.   Jenna shared some insight as to what it’s like to be adopted and look different from her adoptive parents, the impact of close family & friends comments and actions and how they make her feel.

Together, the YANA Mentors prepare for each Zoom party with other adoptees who are 8-12.  The tie dye shirts were a hit and the connections are real.  They look forward to growing the group and sharing projects, powerful conversations and time with more youth adoptees.

24/7 Hotline

Maddie, I would like to say “Thank you” for being a great mentor.  You are truly amazing!  You talk to me and help me with my feelings alot!  I don’t really know how to describe what I feel, but you are so amazing, thank you so much, I appreciate it! ~A.B. 

Adoptee, YANA member