You Are Not Alone - YANAa group for youth adoptees
Adopted 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.
A New Beginning’s new and improved Youth Adoptee Support Group, YANA (You Are Not Alone) is a support group for youth adoptees ages 8-12 and focuses on connection 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 filled with unknowns, diversity, big decisions and myths, it is important to build a community of people who uplift.
YANA meets virtually twice a month in a closed Zoom group. We have activities planned for each night. We can’t wait to meet and connect with your kids!
YANA is led by our peer mentors Jenna Pearl and Maddi Ames. Both were adopted and have been sharing their stores for many years and advocate for other adoptees to do the same and explore their identity. Both Jenna and Maddi are young adults and have completed peer mentor training. 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.
Youth Adoptee Mentor Support Group Meetings via Zoom
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.
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.