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Alameda County’s Chapter of California Youth Connection (CYC)

CYC is a non-profit organization that empowers young people in the system to create legislative and policy change in the foster care system while providing professional development training. Our chapter works on issues in Alameda County and youth will have the chance to go to Sacramento and talk with legislators about issues that directly impact them, and can get plugged into different paid professional development opportunities (presentations, workshop facilitation, etc.).


Youth-led and advocacy-focused since its inception, CYC was founded in 1988 by a group of foster youth and supportive adults to create a vehicle for California foster youth voice at key policy and implementation decision-making tables impacting their lives. Grounded firmly in a strengths-based framework of equity, access, systemic change, and youth development, CYC builds leadership and advocacy skills and develops leaders who empower each other and their communities to transform the foster care system by impacting legislation and policy.

2009 – Present

  • After a year of strategic planning, CYC decides to launch a national organization geared towards training other states.
  • Janet Knipe, CYC’s founding Executive Director, leaves CYC to start the National Foster Youth Action Network (NFYAN), a national organization geared towards training and providing technical support for other states wanting to start their own statewide advocacy organization.
  • CYC hires Dr. Joseph Tietz as our new Executive Director.
  • After several years of educating legislators and advocating for the extension of services to transition age youth, CYC’s co-sponsored bill, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, AB12 passes into law! AB12 provides the option to youth to stay in care up to their 20th birthday and made significant changes to California’s Kin-Gap program.
  • CYC rebrands and gets a new logo after 20 years.
  • Culinary Inspirations, CYC’s first statewide fundraising event, takes place in Culver City in the fall of 2010.
  • CYC celebrates its 25th anniversary and hosts over 30 celebrations in California.

“You will find a community, support, leadership opportunities and so much more.”
-CYC participant