The NFYI Board awards Congresswoman Karen Bass the Champion of Youth & Children Award at NFYI’s annual fundraiser, An Afternoon of Learning and Celebration, hosted on December 4, 2021, by “Flipping Out” star Jenni Pulos.
LOS ANGELES (December 4, 2021) On Saturday afternoon, NFYI members, board members, staff, donors, and former foster youth gathered virtually to celebrate another year of NFYI’s foster youth advocacy work with An Afternoon of Learning & Celebration. Producer, comedian, and TV star Jenni Pulos returned to virtually host the event for the second year in a row, where NFYI supporters raised over $283,000 for the organization.
“Before I became involved with NFYI, I rarely shared my accounts of being in foster care or experiencing homelessness because I didn’t believe that my story mattered,” said NFYI alumnus member and former Shadow Day Delegate Tanisha Saunders as she presented Congresswoman Bass with the Champion of Youth & Children Award. “NFYI not only empowered me to utilize my voice to affect change, but I gained a chosen family of current and former foster youth who I can rely on to this day.”
The event featured original performances by former foster youth, informative videos about NFYI’s work, and remarks from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Karen Bass, Congressman Don Bacon, Congressman Jim Langevin, Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, NFYI Board Chair Wendy Smith and NFYI Executive Director Rebecca Louve Yao.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi remarked, “…Karen Bass has long been a guardian angel for youth too often forgotten or left behind. Throughout her entire career she has fought ferociously to improve foster care…Karen Bass has brought lawmakers together from both sides of the aisle to create the Congressional Foster Youth Caucus, which to this day is leading the charge to reform our faltering foster care system.”
Launched in 2012, National Foster Youth Institute was created to organize foster youth and families, foster care alumni, and allies in Congress and across the country to mobilize around transforming the child welfare system. NFYI annually engages over 250 current and former foster youth across the US.