Media Contact:

Jacqueline Burbank | Communications Director, NFYI | +1.323.208.1505 | [email protected]


The donation will be received annually in $250,000 increments over a period of five years, totaling a vital $1.25 million dollars of sustained support for the growing foster youth advocacy nonprofit organization.


LOS ANGELES (JANUARY 26, 2022) The National Foster Youth Institute is honored to receive a $1.25 million dollar gift from The Barry and Wendy Meyer Foundation. The donation will be called “The Meyer Foundation Youth Empowerment Fund”.


The National Foster Youth Institute seeks to place alumni of the child welfare system at the center of child welfare policy discussions, helping to form lasting bonds between lawmakers and former foster youth through listening sessions, virtual town halls and the annual Foster Youth Congressional Shadow Day experience.


“We are overwhelmed with gratitude. This incredibly generous gift will provide funds we can count on for years to come as we continue expanding our programs and look to the future of NFYI,” said Rebecca Louve Yao, Executive Director of NFYI.


A central mission of the Barry and Wendy Meyer Foundation is to strengthen the social safety net for vulnerable children and families. The Foundation supports organizations that serve people who are often marginalized or underserved, such as NFYI, the Venice Family Clinic, Human Rights Watch, and many local nonprofits that provide food, rental assistance, and other services to those in need.


The Meyers established the foundation soon after they were married, out of their shared belief that giving back is an essential obligation for all those who can.  Wendy Smith Meyer is a social worker, and her academic, clinical, and volunteer work have centered around system-involved children and youth.  She was a founding board member of NFYI and currently serves as Board Chair.  Barry Meyer is a retired executive who has been deeply involved with foster youth-serving organizations for many years. Both of the Meyers share the conviction that uplifting the voices of those who have lived the experience is the surest way to achieve necessary change.

Click here to view this press release as a PDF




About NFYI: 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.


To learn more about NFIY, please visit our website:, or find us on Facebook:, Instagram: @NFYInstitute, or Twitter: @NFYInstitute