California Youth Connection (CYC) is a youth driven nonprofit organization made up of current and former foster youth between the ages of 14-24. CYC develops leaderes who empower each other and their communities to transform the foster care system through legislative and policy change.
Currently, CYC has 33 county-based chapters in California. We are the founding partner of the National Foster Youth Action Network, and a constant advocate for our community, the foster care community.
CYC adovcates for changes through statewide policy, statewide committees, legislative hearings, local policy, community education and awareness, trainings, speaking engagements and word of mouth.
We can only do what we do with the support of the community. Please encourage everyone to get involved and join the movement. Help foster youth change their system- the foster care system. After all, we need people to know "Our Voices, Our Future".
Testimonials about CYC:
"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-
"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 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 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 means a place to advocate, a place to meet other fosters and a place to change. "
"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-