FROM POWERLESS TO POWERFUL: COLORADO’S DOMINQUE MALLARD
“FYA gets us excited and explains exactly how to do organizing. With the support of FYA we can hear people tell us NO and still keep going.”
Dominique (Domo), a young adult from Denver, is a core organizer with Project Foster Power (PFP) of Denver, Colorado. PFP, one of FYA’ national partners, is supported by the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center. With solid crew of other youth organizers, and a growing membership of current and former foster youth across the region, Domo is building a powerful grassroots movement across Colorado, and just launched their first foster youth rights campaign.
Domo spent five years in the foster care system. When she left, she’d been through 22 foster homes. Organizing helped her go from “feeling powerless to a force to be reckoned with.” When she joined PFP, she didn’t know what to expect. Right away, she was drawn by their encouraging, welcoming community, and all the plans they had underway. She gets up every day excited to go to PFP meetings, knowing that together they are truly making a difference.
Domo has been separated from her brother for ten years, yet organizing with PFP heals her pain. Though she might not see him again, she gets comfort knowing she is helping to prevent other kids from experiencing the pain she felt. Part of PFP’s success has been the way it reaches across the Denver region, deeply listening to young people, and learning from them. This base building work, where you reach out to kids, make them feel safe, and pull them into the group, is what she’s most proud of.
FYA worked closely with Domo, her fellow organizers, and supportive adults to help PFP get started, build up, and grow their power. As Domo describes it, FYA had a real impact, getting her excited, modeling the work, and giving her confidence that together they could st
and up to those who don’t want change.