Today Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) joined AT&T in presenting Fostering Youth Independence (FYI) with the AT&T Investing in California Award. AT&T awarded the Santa Clarita non-profit $3,000 in recognition and support of its work on behalf of foster youth.
“Congratulations to Carolyn Olsen, Gina Stevens, Stacey Anton and everyone at FYI on receiving this well-deserved grant. I would also like to thank Dan Revetto and AT&T for seeing, what all of us in the SCV already see, the great work FYI does for our foster youth. I cannot think of a more deserving recipient,” said Wilk.
FYI was born out of the personal experiences and work Carolyn, Gina and Stacey had with the foster care system. They saw a huge need for programs and support that would help foster youth successfully transition out of the foster care system and achieve their educational goals.
They began FYI with the mission of helping youth overcome poverty and become productive members of society. Among one of the most crucial goals of FYI is to equip foster youth with the tools needed to complete post-secondary education and become successful, independent adults.
“FYI and I share a belief that education is the key to success and upward mobility. I am confident FYI will put these funds to good use and continue helping foster youth succeed upon leaving foster care,” said Wilk.
One-third of all foster youth living in Los Angeles County reside in the 21st Senate District. Foster youth face many unique challenges, and the data on foster youth outcomes is disheartening: the high school graduation rate for foster youth is far lower than students not in foster care; only about 4% of these youth obtain a bachelor’s degree; and the California Department of Corrections estimates 20% of incarcerated individuals are former foster youth.
Senator Wilk has been involved in efforts and programs to help foster youth. This year, he is carrying Senate Bill 546 to ensure that California’s foster youth continue to receive smartphones and telecommunications services in an effort to guarantee their telecommunications rights as outlined in the California Foster Youth Bill of Rights.