I first learned of DCFYI at an Adoption and Foster Care Expo in late 2015. I was really impressed with the design of the program, the enthusiasm of the volunteers and mentors at the expo, and all of the stories shared with me that day. I quickly signed up to attend a few events, attended the mentor training, and planned a trash cleanup for Earth Day (it ended up raining the *entire* time but the teens were real troopers!). Since then, DCFYI has become an integral part of my life here in Washington DC. It doesn’t feel like a volunteer gig – just another group of friends with whom to gather.

The staff, volunteers, and youth of DCFYI come together to create a real, caring community. Whether you are assigned to a mentee or not, your talents and interests are appreciated and welcomed. As with any teenager, it can be difficult to get them to open up and connect, but it’s worth the wait. In the spring of 2017, I was matched up with an incredible young woman after hitting it off at a cooking event. She and I have grown and learned from each other, and I look forward to continuing to support her and being involved with the program.