Fostering Youth Independence has been named one of eight winners of the 2022 Aging Out Institute Awards Program for its strategies supporting youth after they age out of foster care.
The Aging Out Institute Awards Program celebrates the positive impact and influence of organizations that work with youth who age out of foster care. The awards program supports AOI’s mission to identify and share award winners’ best practices with foster care professionals throughout the world.
“Winning an AOI National Award is a significant accomplishment. The applications are judged by peers who work in the field of child welfare who assess each program based on specific judging criteria,” said Lynn Tonini, founder and executive director of Aging Out Institute. “The programs that won awards this year are doing amazing things to support youth aging out of foster care. We are extremely pleased that we are able to provide monetary prizes again this year for the winning organizations to contribute toward their services for their transition-age youth.”
This year’s panel of judges included experienced practitioners in the field of foster care throughout the country. The seven judges in this year’s program represented the winning organizations in the 2021 AOI Awards Program. These judges came from Pennsylvania, Arizona, Indiana, California, Massachusetts and Florida.
Santa Clarita-based Fostering Youth Independence was among the winners of $40,000 prizes in the Small Organization or Program category.
“FYI is beyond thrilled to have been chosen for an AOI award,” said Carolyn Olsen, FYI’s co-founder and executive director. “The $40,000 prize will make such a huge impact by increasing our capacity to serve youth. It is an honor to be recognized by a nationwide organization for our strategies to equip foster youth to become successful, independent adults. We are proud to have been selected by peer judges, and look forward to collaborating with other AOI organizations to improve outcomes for youth aging out of foster care.”
Aging Out Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting resources and strategies that help individuals and organizations support youth aging out of foster care. Additional information about Aging Out Institute can be found on the AOI website at www.agingoutinstitute.org. An overview of all the award winners can be found at agingoutinstitute.org/2022-awards-program-winners.
FYI is a Santa Clarita-based nonprofit organization that supports local foster youth who have aged out of the L.A. County foster care system without being adopted or reunified with their birth parents.
FYI addresses the srious challenges faced by these youth, which include not finishing high school or pursuing higher education, homelessness and incarceration. FYI offers current and former foster youth, ages 16-25 years, a caring adult “Ally” to provide the one-on-one guidance and encouragement they need to complete a post-secondary education, as well as resources to help these youth overcome past traumas, complete an education, gain employment and become successful, independent adults. FYI is currently serving 67 foster youth, the majority of whom are attending College of the Canyons.