Devonne McLaughlin, Youth Advisor
"I've learned that what I have to say about my own life matters to others. I know how to ask for help and support, and I have the ability to give others the support they need to succeed."
Kelly Niland, Youth Liaison
"Some days I spend all day in my room--others, I pack my day with things to do. It’s how I find my balance. Each presents a different challenge. You just have to be prepared."
Asa Gilmartin, Youth Advisor
"I have been to 49 states but my favorite one is Peace. It’s really beautiful there."
Sheila Ryan, FOCUS Team Coordinator
Sheila has worked with children of all ages and families throughout the child protection system for over 30 years, but her passion lies in working with adolescents and young adults as they transition to adulthood. Having spent a significant portion of her career connecting with adolescents involved in the child welfare system, Sheila understands the importance of helping young people find meaningful connections and develop roots in their communities. Sheila’s responsibilities include recruiting, training, and supporting volunteers and youth participants engaged with FOCUS.
Jane Yulman Lyons, Executive Director, Friends of Children
"Children and young people have a right to find a meaningful place in the world. It has been my heart and my privilege to advocate for them and promote their best interests. "
Jane has dedicated her career to the rights of young people. As the Executive Director of Friends of Children for more than 20 years, Jane’s life mission is to elevate young people to help them see their own power, so they can imagine and achieve a thriving future. Her advocacy for improving public foster care is highly regarded by professionals, parents, and youth.