Richard A. Filson, Esq.

Filson & Penge, P.A.
Sarasota, Florida


Richard A. Filson is the founder and managing shareholder of the firm Filson & Penge, P.A., located in Sarasota, Florida. Mr. Filson received his B.B.A. from Stetson University in 1981 and his J.D. from the University of Florida in 1984. Mr. Filson is a member of The Florida Bar, as well as the Bars for the U.S. District Court for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida. He has also been active in the Sarasota County Bar Association and is involved in The American Association for Justice and Florida Justice Association. In addition, Mr. Filson has also served on the Advisory Board of Florida’s Children First since 2007. A personal injury attorney for over twenty-five years, Mr. Filson has been representing children and who have been neglected, injured and abused while under the State’s care since 1994. In addition to his professional dedication to providing all foster children with the highest level of legal representation possible, he has also made a personal commitment to ensure that every child in foster care has a voice that is heard.

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Alexia Nechayev

FYS Events & Meeting Chair
(Palm Beach)

Hello, My name is Alexia Nechayev. I am 25 years old and I am an alumna of Florida International University where I received my B.A. in Psychology. My future career goal is to be a Lawyer. I was in care for about one year from age 17 to 18. Prior to entering care, I only knew about the negative stigma regarding foster care and while in care that narrative was unfortunately my experience.

In school I felt like I was on display because my status in care was broadcast to other students and in my placement behavior was leveraged for “privileges” that should be a natural right of all children. Because I did not know my rights I did not know that what I was experiencing was wrong. Today this is exactly why I advocate, because I don’t want this to be the same for other youth who are experiencing foster care.

This is my second year on the FYS Statewide Board and I’m happy to be the Events and Meetings Chair this year because my main goal through advocacy is to reach as many people as possible. My favorite thing as a board member is to see how comfortable members become while working together. The community needs to know that youth in foster care are real people, going through some of the hardest moments of their life and youth need to know that their voice is powerful. I believe that we have to speak up and bring these issues to people’s attention so that they do not forget us. Advocacy, education and consistency is the only way.

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