Santa Clarita Valley nonprofit Fostering Youth Independence is seeking “Allies” to support SCV youth who are aging out of the Los Angeles County foster care system.
Allies provide invaluable support to these vulnerable 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 Sept. 12 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 pm. Those interested can email FYI’s Volunteer Coordinator Darlene Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
“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,” said Carolyn Olsen, FYI’s executive director and co-founder. “So we’re in need of additional Allies, both men and women, to offer the care and ncouragement these youth may not have had as they’ve traveled through the challenging foster system.”
She explained that Santa Claritans have the opportunity to make a real difference in these youth’s lives by becoming a volunteer Ally and supporting their youth through the journey to obtaining a college degree or trade certificate.
“We’re often asked what Allies do,” Olsen said. “Our 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 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.
“I feel honored to be a part of my youth’s journey while knowing I am making a positive impact. It is sweet to witness such resilience and growth and also be a part of the FYI family,”said local resident and FYI Ally Sandy Zamudio.
“Being of service to the youth of our community is a privilege and a blessing,” another Ally, Mike Solis, said.
Further information about Fostering Youth Independence and how to support this organization can be found on the website.