AMP program presented at Morning Optimist

The Marshalltown Morning Optimist Club held its weekly meeting Tuesday at The Brew House. Co-President Linda Moore opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of reflection.

Ray Helland reported that the newly formed Junior Optimist International club members have chosen their name to be Optimist Bobcat Club. Helland has also obtained a flag stand for the flag that the OBC club uses for their meetings.

May program chair Wendi Stanley introduced Alyson Hicks as the guest speaker. Hicks is the facilitator for the organization called Achieving Maximum Potential which is under the umbrella of the Youth Standing Strong organization. AMP is a group of young persons, between the ages of 13 and 22, who have been placed into foster or adoptive homes. The Marshalltown AMP, one of 16 chapters in Iowa, has been in existence for two years.

According to Hicks, the purpose of the organization is to provide youth the opportunity to connect with others with similar experiences. It also gives youth a voice in legislation for improvements in the child welfare policies and practices. AMP youth put together lists of improvements that they would like to see in the system and present their suggestions to legislators. They also educate child welfare professionals and the public about issues in foster care and adoption from the youth point of view.

Stanley announced that the May 9 meeting will feature the winners of the Tom Stanley Memorial Scholarships.

Moore closed the meeting by leading the recitation of the Optimist Creed. The Marshalltown Morning Optimist Club meets Tuesdays at 6:30 a.m. at The Brew House. Guests are welcome. The club’s website is at www.morningoptimists.org.