Local nonprofit Fostering Youth Independence is seeking “Allies” to work one-on-one with Santa Clarita youth who are aging out of the L.A. County foster care system. A virtual training session is scheduled to be held Wednesday, March 10, for interested volunteers.
Volunteer Allies have the unique opportunity to directly impact the lives of Santa Clarita’s transition-age foster youth (ages 16 to 25) by providing support and helping them obtain needed resources. Allies also offer encouragement as the youths work to complete a post-secondary education, and prepare to become successful, independent adults.
“Now, more than ever with the COVID-19 shutdown still continuing, local foster youth need support, not only as they return to school, but with negotiating life’s day-to-day challenges,” said Carolyn Olsen, FYI’s executive director and co-founder. “These young adults benefit so much from having a caring Ally to provide guidance and support, and our Allies have told us they benefit from the relationship just as well. As more youth come into our program, the need for new Allies continues.”
The rewards of becoming an Ally are emphasized by local resident Wayne Karatsu, who has been an Ally to his youth for eight months, having been paired during the challenging COVID pandemic. “Even during these difficult times, being an FYI Ally has been an amazing experience,” he said. “While it is extremely gratifying to know that I am having a positive influence on my foster youth, I am also getting something just as rewarding in return. He has inspired me with his resilience, optimism, and youthful exuberance. I am so grateful to FYI for
giving me this opportunity and for the chance to get to know this young man. I am really looking forward to growing our relationship and seeing him become a successful adult.”
The March 10 training session will be held via Zoom from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. To learn more or to register for the training, email Terri at tgau[email protected], or visit www.fyifosteryouth.org.