By Kegan Johnson
One of the most successful programs that have helped benefit the foster system is CYC, California Youth Connection. This organization is a new foster youth-led organization modeled after the successful youth in Care Network. This organization helps foster youths with employment, and helps make sure that the voices of young foster are heard. This single organization has helped changed the life of many youth, leading them on the right path. Many things are important to CYC such as school, employment, and voices of youth being heard.
Youth meet with two top representatives from the California Department of Social Services regarding issues related to their care. This is a big reason why CYC helps fosters, they allow the corrupt to be seen, making sure that the youth are in a safe environment and away from harm. One of the most important meetings CYC holds is the two days they spend at the Capitol Conference. This two day event features a tour of the capitol, presentations by the Director of the California Department of Social Services, the Youth Law Center, and advocates.
CYC members voted to become a non-profit organization with a central office. The CYC statewide office is in Sacramento. They hire past fosters to help define the current situations of foster homes. CYC introduces legislation on the importance of post adoption contract, which is passed and signed by Governor Wilson. California has its first foster care ombudsman because of the efforts of many advocates, including CYC youth.
In my research of CYC I have found it to be really moving, and inspiring. I have seen the good and bad of foster youth. I am happy to say that CYC really helps show that the youth are important, worth fighting for. I have many friends in CYC, who fight for others when no one fought for them. It builds character, defines who the person is. CYC is a fight worth fighting for, I have dedicated a lot of my time and effort to improve the foster system. Sometimes all a person needs is to be shown that people do care for how they feel.
CYC should be proud to be a non-profit organization. They help fosters through with many situations, they protect them when no one else will. CYC will always be remembered as a passionate, loving group. I encourage everyone to get involved with this organization, and show the youth that we do care. I know I will always support this group, and I know that many others will as well.