Mission, Values & History

Our Mission

Our mission is to equip foster youth to complete post-secondary education and become successful, independent adults.

Our Vision

FYI envisions a future in which every youth leaving the foster care system feels safe, connected and loved. We believe that with a consistent, nurturing community foster youth can become successful, thriving adults. We understand that the past does not define them and trust that with guidance and support, foster youth will re-write their story.

Our Values


We do not compromise on honesty and reliability. We mean what we say.


We value collaboration. We work as a community. We have fun and find joy in our work.


We believe in the worth of each individual. We care for each other regardless of our differences.


We are transparent with our finances and our actions. We stretch every dollar for maximum impact. We are responsible with our time and efforts. We admit our mistakes and learn from them.


We believe that being thankful is vital for the health and resilience of our community. We take the time to show our appreciation for the youth, volunteers, partners and donors who are part of our team.

Our History

Fostering Youth Independence (FYI) was founded in 2017 by three women who saw a need and shared a passion to help the underserved population of foster youth leaving the Los Angeles County foster care system without having been adopted or reunified with their birth parents. Gina Stevens had fostered two teens and experienced firsthand the needs and challenges facing foster youth transitioning to adulthood. Carolyn Olsen was a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) who had been working with a 17-year-old foster youth encountering the difficulties of applying to college and transitioning to independent living without parental support. Stacey Anton, a former public health nurse, had worked with child protective services to place chronically ill children with foster families and coordinate services. All three women had guided their own children to become independent adults and wanted to help foster youth who needed caring adults in their lives.

As they researched the challenges facing aging-out youth, the women learned that only 55% will have a high school diploma, and only 4% will graduate college with a bachelor’s degree. Thirty-six percent will experience homelessness within the first 18 months, and 25% will be incarcerated within 2 years. These grim facts, along with their own experiences, drove Carolyn, Gina and Stacey to act on their belief that caring adults and post-secondary education are essential to helping youth overcome poverty and become productive members of society. Their passion was met with tremendous support from family, friends, and the Santa Clarita community, and FYI was born. Since 2017, FYI has trained and assigned over 140 volunteer Allies and served over 160 foster youth, adding numerous programs and services over the years.

Let's keep in touch!