Quote of the Month

“I’m going to have two jobs, [be] a full-time college student, and living by myself. Oh, wow. I don’t know how I’m doing it, but somehow, I get motivated every morning to get off my bed, to make the bed, to put my favorite song on as I brush my teeth and do my face routine. I’m doing it. But God damn it, it’s hard.” – Amelia Mansuo was a 2019 Shadow Day delegate. Earlier this year, she transitioned out of her foster family’s home and is now living on her own for the first time. She’s been sharing her experience with The Public’s Radio. You can listen to her audio diary here.


Message from the Executive Director

In my role as Executive Director of the National Foster Youth Institute, I have a lot to be thankful for. But as much gratitude as I have for the young organizers, generous supporters, and opportunities that I’ve found at NFYI, I’m always driven by the urge to do more.

I’m grateful that we get to connect with and mobilize so many young adults who are committed to using their first-hand knowledge to help transform the child welfare system. But there are so many more we could be working with. Take our annual Congressional Shadow Day for example. Each year, we bring 100 current and former foster youth to DC — but far more apply to be part of this program.

In 2020, our goal is to take 20 more delegates to Washington to meet with members of Congress and advocate for change. But when it costs up to $3,000 per person for this event, we have a lot of fundraising work to do to reach that goal.

That’s why I’m really looking forward to Giving Tuesday. On December 3, NFYI will join nonprofits across the world in a global day of giving. It’s our chance to share and fundraise to support our work.

I hope you’ll not only make a contribution to support a Shadow Day delegate on Giving Tuesday, but you’ll ask others to do the same. Keep an eye on your email next week for details.

Thanks for all you do,
Sally Fairman
, Executive Director


Fostering Grassroots Change

The NFYI Organizing Internship program is underway! We have four new interns working in our Los Angeles office who are laying the groundwork for organizing current and former foster youth across the county.

Jose Canizal, Miles Ray-Burks, Megan Simon and Shari Walker will be working closely with our staff, meeting with policymakers and local elected officials, and developing their own organizing program that will mobilize young activists.

In the coming months, you’ll hear from them as they keep us posted on their work and policy recommendations!


Fostering Community Change

This month, NFYI’s board of directors hosted the annual Afternoon of Learning and Celebration to help raise money for programming, including the upcoming Congressional Shadow Day. Attendees heard from Carolina Wolf, a former Shadow Day participant and Marcus Batson who is in NFYI’s Michigan Chapter and has attended Shadow Day as a Delegate and Regional Coordinator.

LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl accepted the Champion for Children Award for her work on policies and programs that have improved children’s lives. And Marcus Scribner from ABC’s black-ish accepted the Raising Awareness Award for his work to lift up the profile of NFYI and share the impact of our participants with a wider audience.

To watch some of their remarks, take a look at our Facebook page here.


Fostering Nationwide Change

The fall fundraiser also served as the premiere of our video that recapped the 2019 Congressional Shadow Day! This short video captures many of the events that took place over a very busy week and the voices of the Delegates, Regional Coordinators, Members of Congress and staff who participated in this incredible week. You can watch the full video online.


Fostering Youth-Led Change

Reminder: we’re still accepting applications to the 2020 Shadow Day program through the end of this year! If you’re a current or former foster youth between 18 and 30 who wants to make a difference in child welfare by working with members of Congress, please consider applying. If you don’t meet the criteria, please make sure this opportunity gets in front of someone who’d benefit from it. Share it with someone you think would be a good fit. Or promote it using our application toolkit, available here.