curtis Like many foster youth, Curtis’ road through adolescence had been littered with obstacles, each one seemingly insurmountable. He struggled to graduate high school and then he struggled to find a job that would cover his housing and basic needs. Without family to help him and after a series of bad choices, Curtis ended up jobless and homeless. But a chance meeting with an old friend gave him the second chance he needed—he was connected with the Independent Living Program (ILP) and the Transitional Age Youth Financial Assistant Program (TAY-FAP), both of which would help him get out of the hole he couldn’t get out of on his own. Once connected with FCNI, Curtis found housing with a fellow ILP participant and started attending every FCNI life skills workshop he could—job readiness, budgeting, healthy relationships and more. He became fully committed to learning as much as possible to make up for the time he’d lost. His team walked him through the process of identifying what he wanted for his future, and, together, they mapped out the steps he needed to take and the financial assistance he would receive. Having spent the last year focused only on survival, Curtis was overwhelmed by all of the support and resources suddenly available to him. Not wanting to let anyone down, including himself, he focused on utilizing his team to stay on course. Curtis not only achieved his short-term goals—enrolling in college, securing a job on campus and refurbishing a bike for him to use for transportation—he felt confident enough to set more long-term goals. He set up a savings account and a budget so he could eventually buy a car and move into his own apartment. He also moved beyond dreams of just getting a job, to wanting a career as a police officer. Curtis’ team connected him with a mentor who served on the local police force who could encourage him and help him navigate his career planning. More than just setting and reaching goals, Curtis really started to see himselfasaleader,someonewhoweatheredalot,madesomemistakes, and learned how to come out on the other side stronger. Curtis’ stronger self-confidence helped him become more vocal in FCNI workshops, offering his support and advice to others in similar circumstances. From barely surviving to really thriving, Curtis has become a force of ambition and success who knows no limits. transitional age youth financial assistance program (TAY-FAP) Establishedin2010andinpartnership with SLO County’s Department of Social Services, TAY-FAP provides financial assistance to any current or former foster youth participating in, or eligible to participate in, the SLO County’s Independent Living Program. TAY-FAP leverages community resources, grants and a dedicated program fund to help youth enroll and attend higher education and/ or vocational programs. As TAY-FAP focuses on increasing participants’ enrollment in higher education or vocational training, its overall goal is to assist current or former foster youth in obtaining meaningful employment with sustainable wages after they leave care. TAY-FAP funding provides for: • Housing • Transportation needs • School/Vocational School supplies • Urgent and/or emergency needs related to independent living expenses, such as: utilities, household items, groceries, finding housing/employment, etcetera. 2017-2018 Outcomes Youth Served 89 Successful Program Days 92% 24