OUR STORY

After many years of dedicating their time and energy to raising their own families, Carolyn and Gina desired to share their motherly love with more children. Gina became a foster mom to two teen kids, and Carolyn became a Court Appointed Special Advocate for a foster youth close to aging out of the system. Once they became involved with the foster care system, both quickly recognized the desperate need for more support, especially for youth making the transition to adulthood. Carolyn shared what she was experiencing with her long-time friend Stacey, who had developed a heart for foster kids years earlier when she worked as a public health nurse. Stacey joined the team, and the three women spent countless hours researching statistics, reading stories, and consulting experts. They discovered that each year, in L.A. County alone, 1,400 youth age out of the foster care system, reaching adulthood without being adopted or reunified with their birth parents. Only 55% will have a high school diploma, and only 3% will graduate college with a Bachelors Degree. Thirty-six percent will experience homelessness within the first 18 months, and 26% will be incarcerated within 2 years. These grim facts, along with their own experiences, drove Carolyn, Gina and Stacey to act on their belief that caring adults and post-secondary education are essential to helping youth overcome poverty and become productive members of society. Their passion was met with tremendous support from family, friends, and colleagues, and FYI was born.