Kevin Clark, Former CYC Member and Staff, current MSW student at UC Berkeley
As a member, what CYC meant to me was community. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of security in myself as a result of taking part in CYC. When I met other members who didn’t look like me and we didn’t share the same race or ethnicity, there was something they understood about me and I understood about them that transcended language, and made us feel like family. It was one of the first experiences where I remember just feeling comfortable.
As a staff person, I got the opportunity to empower members to change and transform the child welfare system or at the very least build confidence in themselves as young leaders to give their opinion about what needs to change in child welfare practice. It was really an incredible experience to work with young people to do this.
As I enter the MSW program at UC Berkeley, I carry insights about the child welfare system. I carry insight into what social workers are tasked to do, which is a lot, while being under-resourced. So I feel confident in my ability to engage in conversations about what makes good child welfare practice and what may not be such good child welfare practice.
In the years ahead, I hope to see CYC expand our impact in California even more. There are 60,000 youth in foster care in the state, and all of the transition age youth should be in Sacramento for Day at the Capitol, and get the chance to feel that empowerment.