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The Council is a leadership board that is organized to give “youth voice and choice” in impacting change in foster care policy and practice.

The youth developed their Council after completing the 6 month leadership training Academy. The Academy prepared the youth with the leadership capacity to learn the key skills needed to be effective self-advocates as well as advocates for system change-as members of the Brevard Youth Leadership Council.


The program focuses on developing leadership, communication, critical thinking, problem solving, conflict resolution and team building skills to serve as effective leaders in their community.


All youth and young adults in the system of care will have opportunities to thrive.


The Brevard Youth Leadership Council advocates for youth and young adults through “voice and choice” to improve the system of care. What is Voice and Choice?

  • Having the opportunities and ability to advocate for self and others

  • Being a part of the decision-making process

  • Exercising our right to be heard and being a part of decisions that impact our life.



  • President

  • Vice President

  • Secretary

  • Treasurer

  • Public Affairs

  • Event Coordinator

  • Recruiter



  1. Increase quality Foster Homes and additional homes that can provide specialized care and permanency.

  2. Increase networking among youth in care to promote positive youth development and engagement in policy and practice change.

  3. Increase Mentors/Supporting Adults for youth in care.

  4. Build Capacity of Youth to Successfully Transition to Independence.


Previous: Promote and advocate for more normalcy in system of care (foster homes, group homes, treatment facilities). Normalcy: Having the same opportunities and being given the same respect as youth who are not in care. 


Make new friends

Build networks for future employment and educational opportunities

Strengthen leadership skills for future aspirations

Build confidence in public speaking and advocacy

Opportunities to participate in state-wide youth leadership initiatives

Forge partnerships with community leaders

Opportunity to make a change in the lives of youth in care



This program is designed to directly involve youth ages 14-24 who are in care and have the motivation, commitment and dedication to serve as leaders. In addition, have the degree of maturity necessary to comprehend the skills, knowledge, and understanding needed for effective leadership to serve on the Youth Council; a basic knowledge of the issues facing youth in care; and human relations skills to be leaders on the Brevard Youth Leadership Council.



Participants will be chosen through a selective application and interview process by the Brevard Youth Leadership Council. Interested candidates need to complete the application with the appropriate signatures from Legal Guardian and Foster Parent/Supporting Adult.


Please contact for any further questions and to also submit application to:

Angela Oliver-Burgess, SMILE for Budgie. Email: 


SMILE extends sincere gratitude to Brevard Family Partnership for their partnership in the program and for financial and technical support; and making a difference in the lives of youth in Brevard county. In addition, SMILE is grateful for the support from Annie E. Casey Foundation and deeply appreciate their commitment in helping improve the lives of youth. Also SMILE extends appreciation to the Center for the Study of Social Policy  in providing technical guidance towards the positive development of the program.




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