STAR Youth Program - Amara

STAR Youth Program

Our STAR Youth program is here to support children and teens who have experienced family separation (adoption, foster care, kinship care) by providing an opportunity for friendship and community in a safe, supportive space. Our STAR (Supported, Thriving, Authentic & Resilient) Youth Program is grounded in the belief that youth who have experienced family separation deserve a safe, inclusive, affirming, and friendly place where they can build healthy relationships and be supported in positive identity development. Research shows that youth who forge friendships and other supportive relationships are more involved in school and have higher self-perceived social acceptance. There is no cost to families to participate. 

Interested in learning about upcoming STAR Youth Development camps and programming? Sign up for our newsletter!

 
Our programming is geared to supporting youth and their families where they are.

 

STAR Youth Drop-In Center at Amara’s Family Resource Center in Tacoma

Youth ages 13 – 18 are welcome to stop in, hang out, and build community with other teens in the Midland area. The program is free and provides free snacks, games, arts & crafts, homework help, wifi, video games, basketball, and more. Amara Youth Development staff are onsite Wednesdays from 12:30 – 5:30 pm for this welcoming safe space. Also, our Family Resource Center is open for youth and their families to pick up food or other household necessities. Download our flier! Descarga nuestro folleto!

STAR Youth After-School Mentorship for Middle Schoolers in King and Pierce Counties

Middle-schoolers who have experienced family separation often have a tough time navigating the changes they face in the middle school years. Recognizing this, Amara’s Youth Development program is launching a new after-school mentorship program in January to help middle schoolers build community and confidence.

The once-a-week program at Ford Middle School in Tacoma and Cascade Middle School in Seattle is designed for middle-schoolers who have experienced family separation. It features small group time led by Amara Youth Development staff and volunteer mentors working together to support youth in a variety of enrichment and youth-led activities. This program is generously funded by King County’s Best Starts For Kids Act.

Amara is currently looking for volunteer mentors. If you have a few hours to give each week during the school year, please fill out this form. All volunteers must attend orientation, training, and must pass a background check. We will connect with you soon.

STAR Youth Family Reunions

Families who are connected with Amara and are caring for youth ages 9+ are invited to join us for quarterly get-togethers with fun, youth-focused events! Join us for holiday parties, Mariner’s games, museum visits, and more! Event dates and times to be announced.

Youth Listening Sessions

Our Youth Listening Sessions are designed to ensure that Amara’s Youth Development programs meet the needs of youth and their families in ways that are meaningful to them. Our Youth Development staff are reaching out to youth and their families to participate in these important conversations that will help inform our future programming. Participating youth will be compensated for participating in listening sessions.

For questions about any of our fall and winter programs or to find out how to get involved, please email us at youth@amarafamily.org.

Amara’s STAR Youth Program works to bring youth currently or formerly in foster care together for fun and friendship with a focus on social emotional learning and affirming activities that help youth know their own stories and create a positive sense of self.

Download & share our flier!

STAR Youth Program FAQs

Learn more about our free STAR Youth Program.

Who can participate in Amara’s STAR Youth program?

Amara’s STAR Youth Development program is designed for youth ages 9-14 in King and Pierce counties who have experienced family separation (foster care, kinship care or adoption).

Where do STAR Youth groups meet?

Groups meet at our Seattle campus at 5907 Martin Luther King Jr Way S and at our Tacoma campus at 3501 104th St. E.

What will youth do in the STAR groups?

STAR programming is trauma-informed, culturally and age-appropriate, and features an evidenced-based social-emotional (SEL) curriculum. Activities include community-building time, share-outs, SEL and identity-development activities such as dance, music, art, sports, writing, group work, homework or skills review, individual reflection, facilitated discussion, and play/unstructured time.

Is transportation provided?

In some cases we can help cover the cost of bus tickets or other forms of transportation. Please reach out to us at youth@amarafamily.org if you need assistance.

Where does the funding for the STAR Youth program come from?

Amara’s STAR Youth Development program is generously funded by the King County Best Starts for Kids initiative, Pierce County Youth Violence Prevention funding, and the Washington State Department of Commerce. Donor and community support for the program is always welcome; you can support the STAR Youth Program by giving online or through any of Amara’s other Ways to Give.

For more information, please email us at youth@amarafamily.org or give us a call at 206-260-1700.

Amara’s STAR Youth program receives funding from the King County Best Starts for Kids levy. 

 

Amara occasionally texts clients to best coordinate our services. By agreeing to receive services from Amara, you agree to receive individualized communications from us via text. Clients can always opt out of receiving texts by contacting us at amara@amarafamily.org.