Show notes and recordings of AOI’s podcasts from 2023 are below (episodes 066-TBD).
You can also find the show on most podcast distributors, including Podbean, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Pandora, Stitcher, TuneIn, Listen Notes, Podbay, Blubrry, Vurbl, and iHeartRadio. 

I greatly appreciated being a guest on this podcast! I've been on many podcasts and I found this one to be the most helpful. I loved Lynn's style of tactful and critical feedback. Overall, this is a highly recommended podcast for foster care awareness!

Cheryl WilliamsFounder and Executive Director of Fundamentals for Foster Care

As a former child welfare case manager who worked directly with children in foster youth, I find it comforting that there are agencies that actually help foster youth who are aging out of care. I love that this podcast showcases those agencies!

Rhea WardAdmissions Coordinator of Multi-Alliance Agency for Children

The Aging Out Institute podcast is AMAZING! It's a space for conversations about access, opportunities, and discovery as youth transition from foster care programming into adulthood. As an educator and nonprofit leader, I look for ways to connect with people making a difference and to hear about real work happening in communities across the country. Listening to an episode gives me that time to get inspired and find resources for youth.

Andrea FerreroCo-Founder/Executive Director, Pockets Change

I enjoy the AOI podcast. It gives me an opportunity to learn of the many organizations that have the passion and mission to assist the foster care population.

Patricia Holland, Executive DirectorAll Things New, Inc.

The AOI podcast series has been an incredibly helpful tool for our new non-profit. Our organization has been encouraged, informed and motivated by the AOI podcast series. Our volunteers and leaders love listening to this podcast and look forward to many more to come!

Angela LippensFounder, Unfaulted

I really enjoyed the first podcast of AOI's that I listened to about the mobile tiny homes (among other things). I could tell that Lynn asks questions in such a way that listeners can really gain actionable information.

Dr. Steve J. RiosPresident, NPO Library


In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Barbara Sabol, Senior Advisor of Home Work USA in Lawrence, Kansas. At 85 years old, Barbara is helping to launch an intentional, tiny home community for youth aging out of foster care that is designed to help give them a safe, affordable housing option so that they can get their adult lives started with a greater sense of security. Their community is being built on 22 rural acres and will have 15 tiny homes available for rent soon (they have 10 now). They will house young people aged 18 to 26 years old. Lynn and Barbara also discuss bigger picture improvements of the foster care system, including improved communication with youth, preparing them for adulthood earlier, and ensuring that caseworkers have a reasonable case load.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Home Works USA
YouthBuild Kansas
Kellogg Foundation


In this episode, Lynn Tonini facilitates a conversation between three individuals who work with youth aging out of foster care: Erica Anderson, Founder of We Inspire Greatness (Kansas City, MO), Irving Chavez, Chief Impact Officer at Just in Time for Foster Youth (San Diego, CA), and Ben McBride, Executive Director of I Pour Life (Springfield, MO). During this conversation, we discussed effective strategies to help older foster youth – and those who have aged out – learn how to make decisions that will get them to their individual goals and dreams.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
We Inspire Greatness
Just in Time for Foster Youth
I Pour Life


In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Aundre’ Wright, Co-Founder and CEO of Adonai Transitional Housing in Phoenix, Arizona. Aundre’ explains his organization’s history and partnership with the state of Arizona to provide transitional housing for young adults in the extended foster care program. Their housing options include four homes and one apartment complex (two triplexes) in various locations. (They use one of the apartments in the triplexes for foster youth and the rest they rent out to the public, which provides an income for the program.) Lynn and Aundre’ also discuss a couple of opportunities for improving how the system prepares youth for aging out of care.


In this episode, Lynn Tonini facilitates a conversation between the Executive Directors from three different organizations that serve youth aging out of foster care: Rachael Smith with Hope and Vine (Wake Forest, NC), Susan Punnett with Family & Youth Initiative (Washington, D.C.), and Ben McBride with I Pour Life (Springfield, MO). We discussed the barriers that need to be addressed to help build relationships between youth and supportive adults, the strategies that can be used to mitigate those barriers, and the training that their staff and volunteers go through to understand how to facilitate the relationships.

Resources mentioned during podcast:
Hope and Vine
Family & Youth Initiative
I Pour Life


In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Penny Ellison, Executive Director of Hand2Paw in Philadelphia. PA. Penny shared about the programs they offer for youth – age 16 to 24 – who are experiencing housing insecurity or are in or aging out of foster care. Their unique, strengths-based programs (“Unleashing Opportunities,” “Pawspurr,” and “WordReady”) provide opportunities for these youth to build life skills and character while working with and helping the animals of Philadelphia that also need support and love.


In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Meredith Yuckman, Executive Director of The Hope Center at Pullen in Raleigh, NC. Meredith shared about their life skills program for youth ages 13-18 and their transition program for youth ages 18-24. They also have a Youth Advisory Board made up of youth currently in (or graduated from) their transition program that provides feedback and recommendations about the services that they offer youth. For example, the Youth Advisory Board was the catalyst for the development of a new staff doula program to provide better support for young mothers during the childbirth process.


In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Justin Black, Co-founder of Redefining Normal in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Justin shared a little about his journey with his wife, Alexis, in foster care and the lessons they learned aging out of care that have contributed to their success as authors, speakers, and workshop leaders throughout the country. Justin discussed some of the principles that they have included in their book and workshops, including (but not limited to) living intentionally, forgiveness, and resilience.  Finally, Lynn and Justin talked about the importance of encouraging foster youth to dream again.


In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Carolyn Olsen, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Fostering Youth Independence in Santa Clarita, California. Carolyn shared how her organization supports youth aging out of care by connecting them with allies (mentors) whose primary focus is building a strong, supportive relationship with the youth. Carolyn also reviewed the variety of activities that they have built into their program to help the young people as they work toward their educational goals.  Finally, Lynn and Carolyn discussed the important role that nonprofits play in filling the gaps that aren’t currently filled by the foster care system.


In this episode, Lynn Tonini interviews Amanda Ricken Simonetta with The Felix Organization, Trinity Bailey with Music is Unity Foundation, and LaTasha Watts with The Purple Project to learn about the 2023 Level Up Conference for youth in foster care and those who have aged out (ages 14-24). This virtual conference is being held on February 9th from 3:00pm-5:00pm EST. We also talk about the key challenges that youth aging out of foster care face. Listen to find out more about these organizations, the conference itself, and how to register for this online learning experience. [NOTE: The conference dates mentioned in this podcast were changed. The conference is on 2/9/23 and the registration deadline is 2/3/23.]