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Foster Youth Success Initiatives (FYSI)

FYSI Mission:

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) has recognized that there is a significant deficit regarding youth from foster care attending higher education. Acknowledging this need, they are sponsoring a concerted effort called the Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI) to bring issues affecting these youth to the forefront and to improve the ability of these youth to access postsecondary education and benefit from the support services that are available but are often unknown to them.

Through the vision of the CCCCO, to create a statewide outreach and retention effort to better serve current and former youth from care, the FYSI was established. FYSI was built through CCCCO leadership and a strong foundation of individuals representing a myriad of agencies and postsecondary educational institutions that have formed a true collaborative effort that has evolved to become a statewide FYSI taskforce. The goals of this initiative are to improve:

  • Access to student services and resources
  • Access to academic support
  • Retention
  • Academic performance
  • Completion of units
  • Completion of programs and degree
  • Transfer rates to baccalaureate

How do I contact the Statewide Foster Youth Success Initiative Liaison?

Kathleen Casela  has an extensive history advocating and promoting awareness of issues impacting foster and other at-risk youth populations. Kathleen began her career as a direct service provider, working with homeless and other at-risk youth through Larkin Street Youth Services and the San Francisco Independent Living Skills Program.  Kathleen most recently served as a key consultant to a statewide effort to address mental health stigma and discrimination reduction in California.

Kathleen has been an active participant in several committees, both locally and statewide, highlighting challenges foster youth face in education, employment, accessing health/mental health services and housing. She has been an active member of Honoring Emancipate Youth, Co-Chair for the Transitional Youth Task Force, member and ally for the San Francisco California Youth Connection Chapter, Board Member for California Youth Empowerment Network and developed the Foster Care Alumni of America Bay Area Region.

Kathleen has experience in project management, coordination, facilitation, and policy and curriculum development. Kathleen’s knowledge, expertise and personal lived experience as an emancipated foster youth has allowed her to utilize her voice for making a positive change within the system. She is passionate about foster youth and desires to make a systemic impact for all foster youth to attain a college degree.


Fall FYSI Regional Representatives - September 23, 2014

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