October 2010. We were a program without a home or a name (let alone funding).
In retrospect, it seems a bit crazy to think we could start a new organization and make it last.
Yet here we are seven years later, stronger than ever. We have grown from a small group of people committed to helping teens in foster care to a much larger group of volunteers and donors, all working to ensure teens have the support of community and lasting relationships.
It is hard to quantify the impact of Family & Youth Initiative volunteers on the lives of teens. How do you measure what it means for a teen to finally have even one adult they trust? Someone they can both share anything with knowing secrets will be safe and also rely on to stick around.
It is both sad and empowering when a teen says the only peers she really trusts are her DCFYI friends. Who would that teen have if she did not have DCFYI?
We celebrate every time we help a teen find an adoptive family, every teen who is matched with a mentor, every teen who learns that there are people he or she can trust, people who won't give up or walk away.
We celebrate the teens who "age out" of foster into living with a family they met through DCFYI rather than having to fend for themselves. We continue to support those who are not so fortunate.
We celebrate the community so many wonderful people have helped us create.