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Citizens Invested In Transitioning Youth

What is CITY?

We are an all-volunteer group of retirees and citizens from diverse professions addressing public and private child welfare disciplines in Los Angeles County.

Membership includes individuals from Los Angeles County Probation, Department of Children and Family Services, former independent living service providers, transitional youth advocacy groups, education, mental health, mentoring, immigration, youth homelessness, juvenile justice, and the arts.

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Youth Consultants

Here is what our Youth Consultants have to say about their experience in foster care.

Marcellia:

 “Growing up I did not have what you would call an ideal childhood. My mother was on drugs from the time I was a baby and she was not in her right mind to take care of herself, let alone a child. I felt like my mother did not want me. She left me with anyone who would take care of me, usually a family member.  One day, when I was ten years old, my family could not take care of me anymore, so they called Department of Social Services. I was placed in foster care until the age of nineteen. During that time, life was very hard for me. Moving from home to home is challenging because you do not know what the new foster parents will think of you. Some of the parents act like they care when they do not.  Some just see you as a paycheck. Once I had a foster mother who thought I would not amount to anything. I had a goal to do well in school just to prove her wrong. That is the best revenge I could have. I overcame things that she said I could not. I made the impossible possible.

That is why I joined this organization called CYC which stands for California Youth Connection. We advocate for current and former foster youth and making a better future for them, so when it comes time for them to attend college and go on to higher education, they will not have the struggles and worries I did. Since I have the opportunity to make a change for the better, I will. It is all about empowerment. I am the Vice President of my chapter and I plan to work my way up the latter.

Now I am finishing a few classes at El Camino Community College, So I can apply for my Bachelor’s Degree next year. I will be studying Psychology. I plan to continue being an advocate for the youth in care. I would like to work on a bill within the foster care system.”

Shacarra:

“Transitioning into Long Beach transitional living program was not as challenging because at a young age I learned how to cook, clean, pretty much be self-independent. A few things I did learn was paying rent every month on time, keeping track of my receipts and reading contracts before you sign them.”

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