The Santa Clarita Valley nonprofit Fostering Youth Independence is seeking “Allies” to work one-on-one with SCV youth who are aging out of the Los Angeles County foster care system. An in-person training session will be held Thursday, June 2 for interested volunteers.
Volunteer Allies have the unique opportunity to directly impact the lives of the SCV’s transition age foster youth, ages 16 to 25, by providing support and helping them overcome the cycle of challenges that are endemic to foster youth. Each youth is paired with an adult Ally who offers encouragement, guidance and friendship as the youths work to complete a post-secondary education and prepare to become successful, independent adults.
The rewards of becoming an Ally are clear said Ally Amiejoy Nogel.
“Being a Fostering Youth Independence Ally has been a wonderful eye-opening experience for me,” Nogel said. “I signed up hoping to motivate and inspire a foster youth, but discovered that my foster youth has motivated and inspired me as well. Becoming an Ally has showed me how much strength and courage foster youth have. My foster youth, like so many others, has had to go through extremely tough situations and she has not given up. I am humbled and inspired by their strength to press on.”
Nogel said she is reminded to not take anything in life for granted.
“Being an Ally reminds me to treasure every moment. I have seen how Fostering Youth Independence surrounds the foster youth with so much love to make sure they are not forgotten and not alone,” she said.
Carolyn Olsen, executive director and co-founder of Fostering Youth Independence said the nonprofit has been able to support 120 current and former foster youth in the past five years.
“We couldn’t have done this without a wonderful group of caring adult Allies who have stepped forward to help change these youth’s lives,” Olsen said.
The June 2 training session will be held at Christ Lutheran Church, 25816 North Tournament Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91355, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
To learn more or to register for the training, email Darlene Allen at email@example.com.
Further information visit Fostering Youth Independence.
Fostering Youth Independence is a Santa Clarita Valley-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. The nonprofit addresses the serious challenges faced by these youth, which include not finishing high school or pursuing higher education, homelessness and incarceration. It 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. Fostering Youth Independence is currently serving 60 foster youth, the majority of whom are attending College of the Canyons.