Local nonprofit Fostering Youth Independence is seeking “Allies” to support Santa Clarita youth who are aging out of the L.A. County foster care system.
Allies provide support to these youth, as each one is paired with a youth who they will help guide and encourage as they complete a post-secondary education – a key to breaking the cycle of challenges faced by these youth.
On July 11, a training session will be held for anyone interested in learning more about what being an FYI Ally entails. The training will take place in the Fellowship Center at Christ Lutheran Church in Valencia from 6 to 8 p.m. Those interested can email FYI’s Volunteer Coordinator Darlene Allen at [email protected].
Volunteer Allies have the opportunity to directly impact the lives of Santa Clarita’s transition-age foster youth (ages 16 to 25) by providing encouragement and support as they transition into adulthood.
“Santa Claritans have the opportunity to make a real difference in these youths’ lives by becoming a volunteer Ally and encouraging their youth through the journey to obtaining a college degree or trade certificate, and providing the caring support the youth may not have had as they traveled through the foster system,” Carolyn Olsen, FYI’s executive director and co-founder, said in a prepared statement. “And the more foster youth who discover FYI and what support we can offer them, the more Allies we need – both men and women.”
She added that FYI’s youth have achieved many of their goals because of the right support system and caring adult Allies, because these youth have never had the traditional support of parents or family in their lives.
Local resident Don Young said in the release that being an Ally is a rewarding experience.
“Having personally experienced the foster care system in my youth and successfully navigating the transition to adulthood thanks to great foster parents, I had been searching for an opportunity to return the favor,” he said. “FYI is a great organization that promotes education, decision making and self-determination while utilizing available resources and a personal Ally for support.”
Olsen added: “In the six years since FYI was started, we’ve served 147 local youth, and we will be welcoming nine new youth to our community over the next two weeks. We want to make sure we can provide each new youth with a caring volunteer Ally to provide the encouragement and moral support they need and deserve.”
Additional information about Fostering Youth Independence and how to support this organization can be found at www.fyifosteryouth.org.