Foster Youth Matter: Virtual Youth Fest Featured Speakers

Sixto Cancel, Think of US

Sixto Cancel, Think of US

Sixto Cancel is the CEO and founder of Think of US which focuses on leveraging technology to upgrade the foster care system and produce better outcomes for youth. He was named as Forbes “Top 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs,” a “White House Champion of Change,” and “Millenial Maker” by BET. 

Htet Htet Rodgers

Htet Htet Rodgers

Htet Htet Rodgers is a foster care champion. She is a lobbyist with Presidio Strategic Solutions and works with states and the federal government in strategic sharing, youth engagement partnerships, and Quality Improvement. She is completing her Bachelors in History this fall, and will continue on to pursue a Juris Doctorate.

Chris Chmielewski, Foster Focus Magazine

Chris Chmielewski, Foster Focus Magazine

Chris Chmielewski is the founder and editor of Foster Focus Magazine, which has helped change how foster care is covered in the media. He is a passionate advocate, part time comedian, and credits entrepreneurial skills that he learned in foster care as one of the keys to his success. 

Naya Love Taylor

Naya Love Taylor

Naya Love Taylor is a writer, poet, singer, actress, motivational speaker, and devoted advocate bringing awareness to the injustices of the foster care system. Naya uses her art and experiences in foster care to help bring awareness to foster care issues, while inspiring youth to rise above their labels and circumstances. 

April Curtis, Foster Care Alumni of America

April Curtis, Foster Care Alumni of America

April Curtis is a national child welfare consultant and the Board Chair of  Foster Care Alumni of America. She has utilized her lived expertise for the past 20 years working to develop youth programs and conduct trainings across the United States and Puerto Rico. April also served on the CWLA Board of Directors for 12 years. 

Isaiah "Zae" Palomo

Isaiah "Zae" Palomo

Isaiah “Zae” Palomo (Pronouns: They/Them/Their) is the training & education coordinator at FosterClub. Zae is a former foster youth from Idaho. Zai is a truth seeker, advocate for youth in care, queer Latinx leader, and a Justice Warrior.