Johnson C. Smith University will present a one-day symposium “Phasing Up to New Possibilities” Supporting Youth through Higher Education on April 27 at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The annual symposium is for public and private agency staff involved with foster youth, universities, students, church leaders, public officials, businesses and community members interested inpromoting independence, self-sufficiency and educational advancement for youth “aging out” of the foster care system. Sponsors for the event include Johnson C. Smith University, the Department of Social Work and the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services. Special workshops will feature John Emerson, Casey Family Programs; Heidi McIntosh, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services; Eileen McCaffrey, Foster 2 Success; Sonyia Richardson, Another Level Consulting; Derrick Anderson, Foresight Leadership Training; JJ McEachern, Central Piedmont Community College; Brennon Graham, The Relatives; Family Finding and the Children’s Home Society. “The purpose of this event is to educate, problem solve and forge partnerships in our community that will support youth, who have aged out of the foster care system or experienced similar life circumstances and desire a college education” said Pat Newell, Director of Johnson C. Smith University’s Foster Care Initiative (in photo). The university is forming a Foster Village Network Center to provide opportunities for young men and women who have aged out of the foster care system. It is designed to help them pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions and the possibilities available through continued education. Further details may be found atwww.jcsu.edu/phasingup. Founded in 1867, Johnson C. Smith University is the premier independent urban liberal arts university located in the heart of Charlotte, N.C. It offers a progressive liberal arts curriculum with 26 fields of study to more than 1,600 students. The University prepares students for success through excellent academic programs with a focus on servant leadership, civic engagement and global responsibility.