30 Years of CYC

“For 30 years, CYC has allowed young people to be part of a story of hope. Our participation in CYC gives us the hope we didn’t have growing up. It’s hope for yourself and hope for the next generation. CYC allows young people to be immortal. We get to see that immortal stamp: I did that. We always know we’ve made that change in the world.”

—Patterson Emesibe
Volunteer Supporter, Peer Mentor, & Former Member

Thank you!

Huge heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported CYC in person or in spirit at our 2018 Day at the Capitol!

“Each and every one of you are leaders. Each of you are fighting to make California a better place. You give me hope and the energy I need to go back and advocate on behalf of every foster youth in California. We’re going to stand shoulder to shoulder. We’re going to lock arms to arms. We’re going to walk these halls and tell everybody to vote for our bill.”
– Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson)

On February 12th, over 140 members of our beloved CYC community converged on Sacramento for our 2018 Day at the Capitol. CYC youth members from throughout the state visited over 100 offices to brief legislators on their 2018 priority, increasing stability for all foster youth.

With the leadership of CYC, Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) introduced AB 2247, a bill that sets the foundation for a youth-centered process for planning stability. Read his press release here.

Assemblymember Gipson, Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D – Richmond), and California Department of Social Services Director Will Lightbourne all spoke at our noontime rally on the West Steps of the Capitol, congratulating CYC on its 30 years of youth-led advocacy and systems change, and expressing their support for CYC’s priorities.

“There is no group I would rather be recognized by. It’s very humbling. Of all the groups we work with day in and day out, CYC both inspires because of your courage but because of your honesty and the way you share reality in your stories, you create blinding insights that don’t come from anywhere else. Thank you. Make me one promise – you will always keep coming back.”
– Will Lightbourne
Director, California Department of Social Services

“California Youth Connection is a shining star of what makes this state great, and we want to follow your lead in what we need to do to support young people…Keep up the great work. Here’s to the next 30 years of CYC!” –Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond)

Read more about CYC’s 30 years of impact HERE.

FEATURED CHAMPIONS

Christina Parker

Meet Christina

MEMBER
“Before, I wasn’t really so into leadership or anything to do with the foster care system. After I joined CYC, I became aware of the statistics and the problems in the system. Now I have the passion to change it. Being in CYC is advocating for your brothers and sisters and cousins and people coming behind you who are going to enter the foster care system. It’s about making it easier and better for them.”

Patterson

MEET PATTERSON

VOLUNTEER SUPPORTER, FORMER MEMBER AND PEER MENTOR
“For 30 years, CYC has been allowing young people to be part of a story of hope. That’s what keeps us there. Our participation in CYC gives us the hope we didn’t have growing up. It’s hope for yourself and hope for the next generation. CYC allows young people to be immortal. We get to see that immortal stamp: I did that. We always know we’ve made that change in the world. I think that’s why young people stay in CYC.”

Delia Johnson

Meet DELIA

FOUNDING VOLUNTEER SUPPORTER
“People grow anyway but we don’t all have the opportunity to have the kinds of experiences that can really change lives. Those are the positive things you can’t really put your hands on. As adults, we’re just kind of like the link to it. I think it’s that simple. It’s not like there’s a magic wand within us to make it happen. Almost all of the kids come back to say thank you, but I don’t think it’s us so much as it is them.”