FYI seeks volunteer allies to be paired with local foster youth; Training to be held september 12

More foster youth in SCV are discovering the support FYI can provide, so more Allies are needed to help change the lives of these vulnerable young adults aging out of the foster system

SANTA CLARITA (August XX, 2023) – Local nonprofit Fostering Youth Independence (FYI) is seeking “Allies” to support Santa Clarita youth who are aging out of the L.A. County foster care system. Allies provide invaluable support to these vulnerable youth, as each one is paired with a youth who they will help guide and encourage as they complete a post-secondary education – a key to breaking the cycle of challenges faced by these youth.

On September 12 a training session will be held for anyone interested in learning more about what being an FYI Ally entails. The training will take place in the Fellowship Center at Christ Lutheran Church in Valencia from 6-8 pm. Those interested can email FYI’s Volunteer Coordinator Darlene Allen at

Volunteer Allies have the unique opportunity to directly impact the lives of Santa Clarita’s transition age foster youth (ages 16 to 25) by providing encouragement and support as they transition into adulthood.

“We have more and more local foster youth discovering FYI and wanting to be a part of our community and receive the support we provide,” said Carolyn Olsen, FYI’s executive director and co-founder. “So we’re in need of additional Allies – both men and women – to offer the care and encouragement these youth may not have had as they’ve traveled through the challenging foster system.”

She explained that Santa Claritans have the opportunity to make a real difference in these youth’s lives by becoming a volunteer Ally and supporting their youth through the journey to obtaining a college degree or trade certificate.

“We’re often asked, what do Allies do,” Olsen said. “Our Allies support our youth in any number of ways. This can be with calls and texts to check in on them, getting together with them for coffee or meals, helping them with errands, taking them on outings, offering guidance and generally being a sounding board for their questions or issues.”

She added that FYI’s youth have achieved many of their goals because of the right support system and caring adult Allies, because these youth have never had the traditional support of parents or family in their lives.

The benefits of becoming an Ally are clear. Local resident and FYI Ally Sandy Zamudio explains, “I feel honored to be a part of my youth’s journey while knowing I am making a positive impact. It is sweet to witness such resilience and growth and also be a part of the FYI family.”

Another Ally, Mike Solis, said, “Being of service to the youth of our community is a privilege and a blessing.”

Further information about Fostering Youth Independence and how to support this organization can be found on

About Fostering Youth Independence (FYI)

FYI is the largest Santa Clarita-based nonprofit supporting local foster youth who have aged out of the L.A. County foster care system without being adopted or reunified with their birth parents. FYI addresses the serious challenges faced by these youth, which include not finishing high school or pursuing higher education, homelessness, and incarceration. FYI offers local foster youth numerous resources to help overcome past traumas, complete an education, gain employment, and become successful, independent adults.

FYI currently serves 76 transition age (16-25 years) foster youth in the Santa Clarita Valley and has supported 153 local youth since its inception in 2017. It assigns each youth a caring adult volunteer Ally and a coordinator to help them set and achieve goals in areas such as education, employment, housing, finances, health, transportation, assistance with college applications, enrollment and class registration, and referrals to resources for food, housing, health, mental health, and employment. It also provides emergency financial assistance when an unexpected expense such as a car repair threatens to derail a youth’s educational plans. FYI offers The Study Place for learning support and tutoring, a Ready, Set Drive! program to assist youth in obtaining their drivers license, hosts events throughout the year where the youth can connect with other youth and Allies to create a community of support, and partners with College of the Canyons for referrals and counseling. It also provides school supplies and holiday gifts.


Instagram: @fyifosteryouth



Carolyn Olsen

Co-founder and Executive Director

(661) 360-1500 ext. 700

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