I came to my first DCFYI event in 2011 because I wanted to get to know my community in a meaningful way.  Within a year or so of attending events, I was matched as a mentor with a young woman who was aging out of foster care.  Every time we see each other, she makes me laugh -- she has a great sense of humor.  By her example, she also inspires me to accomplish my goals one step at a time, all while being true to myself.  And it has also been eye-opening and refreshing to get to know new parts of DC -- including Southeast and Northeast neighborhoods -- and to now be able to say those neighborhoods are a part of my community as well.

My background is as a foster care social worker so having the opportunity to know my mentee and other FYI youth helps me stay in touch with my roots.  As a social worker in Florida I knew LGBT families who were denied the opportunity to adopt children.  Many states still currently have barriers restricting the ability of LGBT individuals and couples to adopt.  Being queer, I have appreciated that FYI is open to and affirming of all individuals and all families.

I encourage you to join in for the next FYI event, and then join in again a second and third time.  You'll be glad you did.