WE PUT YOUTH AT THE CENTER
Stepping Forward LA was designed to elevate the voices of young adults who have been through foster care. Since our founding, their direct experience has helped us design and carry out programs that their peers need most.
Each year, 40+ former foster youth interns work with our program staff on special projects that benefit youth in the system, providing them with a meaningful way to give back to future generations.
WE START WITH STABILITY...
Each young adult joining our community receives immediate and personalized support to gain stability as they transition from foster care into adulthood.
Based on their needs, we help them secure vital resources like housing, food, and childcare.
Our goal is to move them out of crisis and survival mode so they can begin to set goals, build life skills, explore opportunities, and dream bigger.
BUT WE DON'T
While young adults are in the system, nearly all decisions are made on their behalf. This can leave them feeling disempowered.
We help them take the driver’s seat in their lives.
Through our programs, young adults build agency, resilience, confidence, and the skills to design their own path.
ADULTHOOD & LIFE SKILLS
Our vibrant community of volunteers, called co-mentors – provides young adults with advice, guidance, and a vital sense of belonging.
Through 1-1 mentoring, group activities, and educational workshops, young adults build healthy connections, increase social capital, and gain motivation to set and achieve goals.
We provide in-person and virtual events and opportunities for our co-mentors to connect and build lifelong bonds. For many foster youth, our co-mentors are the first people they have met who are not paid to support them.
Through a mobile app created by our former foster youth staff and interns, young adults get a powerful library of content, resources, and social support – all at their fingertips to access anywhere, anytime.
The app lets young adults receive support and work on personal goals in education, employment, housing, financial management, and personal wellness.
Once they achieve their goals, app members can give back by creating their own content and leading virtual workshops.
Our 120-hour paid internship helps former foster youth gain vital work experience and skills.
For most interns, this is their first experience with professional work and earning a paycheck.
Throughout their internship, they learn about work ethic, research, graphic design, time management, working on a team and so much more. In turn, they develop important skills, find their voice and gain confidence.
Interns are vital to our mission, as they help us design and implement programs to support youth still in the system.