Youth Engagement

IYAB Leadership Team

The IYAB Leadership Team helps set the board’s priorities for the year and make suggestions that will lead to changes in the foster care system.

These leaders make a big impact on their peers and the foster care system in Indiana.

Leaders serve one-year terms from July 1 thru June 30. Interested in joining the Leadership Team? Reach out to one of the current team members to learn more!

Current Leadership Team:

Stephaney Knight

Oliver Baker (He/They)

1 year in foster care

Oliver entered foster care in September 2018. He was fortunate to only be in one foster home before aging out in March 2019.

Oliver is on the Indiana Youth Advisory Board Leadership Team. They have been involved in IYAB and local foster care system based meetings since they entered care and met other youth who had less fortunate experiences with the system then they did.

Oliver is a creative person who loves to help youth who don’t have a voice or know how to make their voice heard. They especially want to focus on the needs of LGBTQ+ youth and youth with mental health issues. They want to help youth learn to advocate for themselves and know how to get help when they need it.

 

Alayna Leonard

Shelly Gann-Gatt (She/Her/Hers)

Shelly is working with Foster Success as an Indiana Youth Advisory Board (IYAB) leader. Her top three accomplishments are that in 2019, she was an intern at the Noble County United Way. In 2020, she got her high-school diploma from East Noble High School. And recently, she got the IYAB leadership position.

Since Shelly entered the Foster Care system, she’s seen many flaws, including how many minorities aren’t given a voice. She had that privelage, so she wanted to stand up for those who don’t. In 2019, she interned at United Way to help those who don’t have the same privileges find help and resources. 

Shelly’s north star is to help those who don’t know themselves and weren’t given the chance find out who they are. When she’s not working, she’s usually spending time with my friends and those close to her.

Alayna Leonard

Paul Okoli (He/Him/His)

3 years in foster care

Paul has devoted much of his life to advocating for youth in foster care. Paul is involved with the Indiana Youth Advisory Board and various DCS workgroups. He is also a founding member of the Racial Justice, Equity, and Inclusion workgroup, and is the most senior member of the group. He participated in Foster Success’s Opportunity Passport program, and has worked closely with the organization to provide feedback on its financial empowerment programs.

Paul was a member of the Emerging Adult Workgroup, which resulted in recommendations to DCS on the services young people are provided to assist them in their transition to adulthood. He was also a member of the Direct Payment Workgroup, and worked with Sixto Cancel and Think of Us on advocating for this to be implemented in Indiana. His work on the Foster Care Bill of Rights helped create a version of the Bill of Rights that is youth centered and youth friendly. He recently completed The Journey Explores, an elite program for students exploring youth-serving careers. 

The Indiana University junior is majoring in Human Development at IU. He graduated high school in the top 10 of his class, and won several academic awards as well as music awards for tenor saxophone and cello. In his spare time, Paul enjoys biking along the trails in beautiful Bloomington.        

IYAB logo
Quote marks

“I have learned not only to advocate for others, but for myself as well. I have learned patience and independence. I have gained a community of people (who) are there to support me.”

– Stephaney K.
Megan Trible

Questions? Contact Megan Trible, Director of Youth Engagement

Call or text 317-504-4196   •   megan@fostersuccess.org

foster success
Skip to content