FYI seeks volunteer foster youth Allies for April 16 training

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News release 

The 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, and a training session is scheduled April 16 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 encouragement and support as they transition into adulthood, said a news release from FYI. 

On Tuesday, April 16, 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]

“We have more and more local foster youth discovering FYI and wanting to be a part of our community and receive the support we provide,” Carolyn Olsen, FYI’s executive director and co-founder, said in the release. “So we’re in need of additional Allies — both men and women — to offer the care and encouragement these youth may not have had as they’ve traveled through the challenging foster system.” 

Local resident and FYI Ally Paul Priesz said in the release that serving as an Ally is challenging and rewarding. “It is not for the faint of heart but for those whose hearts are full of gratitude for life,’ he said. “It is listening more than talking, providing support without pushing, advising without ‘I told you so.’ It is being available even when the youth is not. It is sharing the path of life you follow with someone trying to find theirs.” 

Olsen said that Allies support their youth in any number of ways. “This can be with calls and texts to check in on them, getting together with them for coffee or meals, helping them with errands, taking them on outings, offering guidance and generally being a sounding board for their questions or issues,” she said. 

She added that FYI’s youth have achieved many of their goals because of the right support system and caring adult Allies, as these youth have never had the traditional support of parents or family in their lives. 

Additional information can be found at www.fyifosteryouth.org. 

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