California Youth Connection - Our Voices, Our Future

"I am proud that I have been able to stand up and step into a leadership role. I have gotten to share my
personal story, be given the opportunity to public speak, and through CYC I’ve been able to come into myself."
-Charys, member-

"CYC has helped me to grow to be the person I am now. CYC has healed some things
that therapy could never do…It’s healed me."
 -Cassandra, member-

"CYC provides an opportunity to come together with people that are like me with similar backgrounds, and together we are changing the system so the people that come behind us don’t have to go through what we did."
-Allan, former member and current supporter-

"It’s my life and no one else’ life. I need to tell people what I need…what we, as foster youth, need.
It’s our life, we need to have a say in it. "
-Lazara, member-

"CYC has taught me to be involved and that what I have to say matters. My experiences matter."
 -Will, member-

"CYC is a great experience. It’s a place where you can be yourself, share your life and no one judges you. It’s amazing to be with people who understand your pain and joys. It’s not about me, it’s about we. "
-Clay, member-

"CYC is the family that my parents should have been and the state should have been.
Through making the system better, I have made a new family."
-Kevin, member-

"On the day I shadowed Assembly Member Beall, I got to sit up there with him as he voted [during a hearing]. It was a great experience because they treated us like equals and that they got our backs. It was a once in a lifetime experience."
-Joe, member-

"CYC changes your life. It made me focus more on “we” versus “me”. When I was in care, I was ashamed of being
a foster. But today, I know all of our past has made us who we are. CYC has really impacted my life-
it’s made me a stronger person."   -Feven, member-

"CYC means a place to advocate, a place to meet other fosters and a place to change. "
-Terrell, member-


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CYC Spotlight

Covered til 26 - Health Care for Former Foster Youth

Welcome, Robin Allen, Interim Executive Director!

July 30, 2015

Dear CYC Community,

We are thrilled to welcome Robin Allen to CYC as our Interim Executive Director. Robin has spent most of her 25 year nonprofit management career working on issues impacting the lives of California’s foster youth. Most recently Robin served for 13 years as the Executive Director of California CASA managing significant statewide growth and impact of the CASA community during her tenure.

Additionally Robin has been a long time friend, partner and supporter of CYC and is deeply connected to the issues foster youth face and the organizations and funders engaged in helping improve the outcome for our youth. As such Robin is an ideal choice for the role of Interim Executive Director of CYC.

Robin will be shadowing our current Executive Director Joseph Tietz for the next month to ensure a seamless transition process. Additionally CYC has hired the firm of Yeager and Carlson LLC, seasoned leaders in nonprofit transitions to manage the search process for a permanent Executive Director. Together with Robin, Joseph and an internal CYC transition team consisting of Board, Staff and Youth members CYC is well prepared for maintaining organizational stability and impact during this transition process.

A national search will be conducted over the next several months. We will provide regular updates on how that process is proceeding from the transition community to key CYC stakeholders.

Please join me in welcoming Robin to our wonderful CYC community.

Thank you for your continued support.

Jason Bryant
CYC Board President


Farewell from CYC's Executive Director

July 15, 2015

Dear CYC Community,

After an amazing five year journey, working with an incredibly inspiring community of dedicated, visionary, and strategic partners I have, upon considerable deliberation, decided to begin a new chapter in my personal and professional life. I will be relocating to Portland Oregon to join our extended family and to lead another vital social justice organization, where I will be working for the improvement and reform of the criminal justice system, specifically supporting families and children with incarcerated family members through diverse community based programming and advocacy work.

I leave CYC with a multitude of emotions: sad to leave colleagues who have become friends and partners in the shared cause of improving the lives of foster youth; Inspired and transformed by the hundreds of youth I have come to know personally and have learned from on this journey, who have taught me to be a better person, father, and community leader; hopeful about the future of our beloved CYC, now armed with an exciting new strategic plan, strengthened organizational structure and systems, and a broad cadre of dedicated funders who have assured that our 2015-16 budget is secure. I am proud of the amazing accomplishments, growth and impact CYC has had over the past years including the passage of AB-12. CYC is blessed with great Board and Advisory Board leadership, prepared to build the organization to the next level, an incredible staff, deeply committed to the mission, and an equally dedicated community of adult supports and partner organizations, who remain fiercely loyal to our compelling vision.

CYC is of course, first and foremost, about our youth members, who remain vigilant and determined to bring about system change, improved policies and implementation strategies designed to improve the lives of foster youth throughout the state, the country and the world. You all are treasures and often unsung heroes. As we prepare for this transition in the leadership of CYC, we do so with hope and confidence in the future. As you will read in the paragraph below from Jason Bryant, the President of our Board of Directors, the CYC Board is committed to identifying the best possible leader for this next phase of CYC’s history.

"It is with a great deal of respect and gratitude that the Board of CYC is preparing to bid adieu to Joseph after five extremely productive years of leadership and as he moves on to the next chapter in his life. Words cannot fully describe the extent of his contributions or the powerful impact he has made on so many lives in the CYC family.

The Board is taking all the steps necessary to assure that CYC will continue to effectively serve with great commitment and care for the CYC mission. To that end, CYC will be working with a respected executive transition and search firm, Yeager & Carlson LLC, to identify an Interim Executive Director, while a broader national search will proceed in the near future to recruit CYC’s next long term leader. Your continued support and faith in CYC are essential to our future success. The Board is fully embracing its responsibility to the community and to each of you. We pledge to do everything we can to make the transition smooth and effective and to keep you informed. Thank you."

Jason Bryant, CYC Board President

My last day at CYC will be September 4th, so there is ample time for more personal goodbyes and I of course will remain in touch from my new Oregon home. It has been a pleasure, an honor and a labor of love to have been on this journey with you all. I have deep confidence in and love for CYC. I look forward to hearing about the many future successes in the continued journey onward.

With heartfelt appreciation to my fellow travelers,

Joseph Tietz, Ph.D.
Executive Director


What's Happening With CYC

Applications Available for Policy and Legislative Committee!

We are excited to announce that CYC's policy team is officially recruiting for our 2015-2016 Legislative and Policy committees! If you're curious or confused about the difference between the two opportunities, then don't worry because we have some info for you!
You can find a flyer for our legislative committee, which helps develop CYC's bill proposal for Day at the Capitol, here. And you can find a flyer for our policy committee, which works on the implementation of various statewide initiatives, here. Also, you can always contact a staff member of CYC's policy team with questions at or

A joint application where you can select which committee you are interested in can be found here. But make sure you act soon and don't wait too long because our deadline is August 7, 2015.


* CYC is a registered 501c3. All donations made to CYC are tax deductible.
© 2015 California Youth Connection