Saturday, April 22, 2023
Writing the Next Chapter...
Together, we ARE writing a new chapter to ensure all young people have a safe, stable place to call home!
Thank you to our many sponsors and generous supporters like you for making Saturday night a huge success. We raised critical funds that enable NRS to help more than 125,000 youth and families each year.
National poverty and child welfare expert and advocate, and author of A Place Called Home
David Ambroz is a national poverty and child welfare expert / advocate, Emmy nominated, and best-selling author. He was recognized by President Obama as an American Champion of Change. He currently serves as the Head of Community Engagement (West) for Amazon. Previously he led Corporate Social Responsibility for Walt Disney Television, and served as the President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, where he has led the efforts to pass ground breaking policy, including the Mobility 2035 Plan, Home Sharing Ordinance, Cannabis Regulation, Linkage Fee for affordable housing, Permanent Supportive Housing Ordinance, and the Hotel/Motel Conversion Ordnance for homeless housing.
David also served as a California Child Welfare Councilmember, and as a Commissioner with the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk, is formerly a contributing writer to Huffington Post, and helped author and advocate numerous laws and policies, including the extension of foster care to 21, Chafee Independence Act, efforts to protect LGBTQ foster youth, and policies to ensure access and success in higher education – including founding the Guardian Scholars in Los Angeles. After growing up homeless and then in foster care, he graduated from Vassar College and later from UCLA School of Law. He is a member of the Television Academy, Board Member of Equality California, and now lives in Los Angeles.
After growing up homeless and then in foster care, he graduated from Vassar College and later earned his J.D. from UCLA School of Law. He is a foster dad and lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Activist, artist, community organizer and member of the NRS Youth Advisory Board
Rachel is a disabled artist, writer, youth advocate, and community organizer in Madison, Wisconsin working at the intersection of disability justice and youth housing justice. She is a current member of the National Runaway Safeline Youth Advisory Board, the Dane County Youth Action Board, and Youth Collaboratory’s Youth Catalyst Team.
Her artistic work is rooted firmly in her identities as a queer, disabled survivor of child sexual abuse and commitment to bringing awareness to silenced and stigmatized issues faced broadly by the disability community. Her comics and writing on disability and youth homelessness have previously appeared in The Washington Post, Disability Visibility, Rooted in Rights, and Youth Collaboratory’s blog, among other places.
She has been involved in Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program for the past two years and is privileged to be part of an amazing team in Madison, WI collectively making systems change.
Reporter, NBC 5 Chicago
Natalie Martinez joined NBC 5 Chicago as a general assignment reporter in January 2001 and now serves as the lead reporter every week night at 10 p.m. Her non-stop reporting of the tornadoes that devastated Fairdale and Washington, IL, earned her an Emmy. An active member of the Hispanic community, in 2016, Natalie was elected Chicago Chapter President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ).
In 2017, the national NAHJ organization recognized her with the coveted “Si Se Puede” Excellence in Leadership award, and the following year she was included in Negocios Now’s “Who’s Who in Hispanic Chicago.” Her charitable efforts support Connections for Abused Women and their Children (CAWC), Center on Halsted and the Salvation Army, among others. With a passion for helping aspiring journalists, Natalie teaches a journalism course at DePaul University.
NRS Youth Advisory Board Member
Mia is a National Runaway Safeline Youth Advisory Board Member and a Youth For Truth Representative from Chicago, IL where they currently attend Northeastern Illinois University, studying social work.
Mia loves music, singing, and performing, and hopes to incorporate music into their future career in social work. They continue to be an advocate for young people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity in the greater Chicago Community and are involved with the Mental Health Justice team with ONE Northside.