Summer Rae Worsham, Member
“CYC was what I’d been hoping to find for years,” says Summer Rae Worsham, 22. “It was something I’d wanted to do since I went into foster care when I was 14, to be a part of making changes!”
Attending her first CYC Summer Leadership and Policy Conference in 2015, Summer learned public speaking and event planning skills.
“I was out of my comfort zone doing public speaking and planning big events at first, but it turned out to be the foundation for what I do now as a youth advocate at the Epicenter in Monterey,” she says.
Summer remembers feeling nervous as she walked into that first conference. “I didn’t know what to expect,” she says, “but it was awesome.”
It was awesome, but not always easy.
“At summer conference, we hash out problems and come up with solutions,” Summer explains. “Then we send our ideas to the people who sit on the CYC legislative and policy committees, and they hash it out a little more, and then later we take it to the capitol.”
As part of the group discussing social worker accountability, Summer shared her experience of having a revolving door of social workers. “One minute I would have one social worker,” she says, “and then some random person would show up for a visit, and tell me they were my new social worker, and I’d think ‘What the heck—this person didn’t have enough respect for me even to just call me up to say goodbye?’ That inconsistency was hard for me.”
So the discussions at the conference brought up painful memories, yet Summer says through that experience she realized “sometimes you have to hurt for the cause to be reached. It was hard but I was going to use that stuff,” she says. “CYC was an outlet that gave a purpose to all I went through before I went into the foster care system. It wasn’t in vain. I could use everything to make positive changes. The moment when I found CYC was pretty life changing.”