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ILYA (Independent Living for Young Adults) Went to YAC

A representative group from ILYA attended the YAC (Youth Advisory Council) conference at Delaware State University in Dover last week. This conference organized and run by youth who are in or have aged out of foster care has the tag line “Nothing about us without us”. They advise legislators, social service organizations and others about the needs of foster youth and appropriate solutions.
Often outsiders in any situation think they know the issues and how to solve them but never ask the people actually involved, particularly when the ones involved are children. YAC was formed to allow the children and youth to have a voice in how their care is managed. And it’s been extremely successful.
ILYA’s presence at YAC helped inform the youth about the supports we offer. Some going off to college this year didn’t know about our Student Care Package project and were so excited to know volunteers are wanting to send them packages during the school year. Others didn’t realize we can help them furnish a new apartment.
Additionally, we learned about some organizations we may be able to partner with to extend our services without adding cost. We also continued to hear the need to clone our program into Kent and Sussex counties.
So it was fun, very educational and productive but also cut our work out for us going forward. We so appreciate all the support First U has given our team over the years and look forward to continuing to serve these youth well in your name.