Empowering Foster Youth to Be Change Agents

Janay Eustace found herself in the foster care system as a new high school freshman, juggling her duties as class […more…]

California Youth Connection

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(916) 752-1861
Executive Director: Janay Eustace


The mission of California Youth Connection (CYC), a youth-led organization, is to develop leaders who empower each other and their communities to transform the foster care system through legislative, policy, and practice change.

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Among the organizations doing great work supporting foster youth, CYC uniquely stands out because the advocacy comes from the youth themselves – in their own voices, by choosing their own initiatives, and through their direct leadership. I am so proud to be in a community with these outstanding young people because they are shaping the future of the foster system, informed by their own personal experiences, and doing so to improve how their future brothers and sisters experience foster care. I find this passion and commitment to be incredibly selfless, and an integral and important perspective for transforming foster systems in California, across the country, and worldwide.
Nora Kim,
Associate Philanthropic Advisor,
San Francisco Foundation

Help CYC Meet Its $150,000 Fundraising Goal

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted CYC members (current and former foster youth ages 14-24) – creating feelings of social isolation, cutting off lifelines of support and making it incredibly difficult to build community during a time when it was needed more than ever. So as CYC thinks about a return to in-person community building for its young people, it is planning to make its two in-person conferences (Day at the Capitol and Summer Leadership & Policy Conference) more effective than ever.

As a youth-led organization with over half of its staff having experienced foster care, CYC members are leading the way through their own empowerment and advocacy. One of CYC’s core programming pillars is its conferences where the organization brings young people together at universities throughout California (Summer Leadership & Policy) and at the state capitol (Day at the Capitol) for three days of skills-building workshops, meetings, and community bonding. These conferences are springboards for youth development and empowerment. 

But the lights have been turned off on these life-changing experiences for nearly two years. In 2022 and beyond, CYC hopes to bring these young advocates together again, providing them with the sense of community that they have missed for so long. 

$150,000 in charitable gifts will allow CYC to bring all its members to these seminal events, and also support its youth-driven policy change agenda. 

Be a part of empowering California’s foster youth. 

Key Supporters

The Zellerbach Foundation
California Wellness Foundation
California Community Foundation
Weingart Foundation
The Stuart Foundation
The Center at Sierra Health Foundation
Orange County Bar Charitable Foundation
May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust
Tipping Point Community
Walter S. Johnson Foundation
Edward W. Hazen Foundation
W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation