In August 2020 Juvenile Courts had shut down all across California due to COVID-19. Josy was about to turn 18 and had originally planned to apply for the Extended Foster Care and Benefits Program authorized by California Assembly Bill 12. The program is aimed toward youth who don’t have a guardian, and provides them with housing, support, and college financing.
However, in order to qualify the youth are required to apply before they turn 18. Usually application is a six-month process and with the courts closed and his birthday coming soon, everyone was telling Josy that gaining AB-12 status was impossible — and he was beginning to believe them.
“FLY has nurtured me into a young professional and leader; they’ve cultivated my skills in working with youth, public speaking, facilitating groups, and social emotional health for years!”
– Nick Jasso
We are pleased to present the annual report for Fiscal Year 2019-2020! The past year has been unusual and challenging in many ways, yet because of your support we were able to serve more than 2,000 young people in 42 cities across the Bay Area and maintain our fundraising efforts. We took every challenge in stride as an opportunity to learn and grow, leading us to emerge even stronger than before. This year, we are presenting our report in two different parts: the usual narrative report and a short summary of key data about our youth and programs from the
Nick Jasso is a FLY alumni, UCLA student, and currently works for FLY as a Youth Voice Policy Fellow. As a Policy Fellow he plays a key role in helping FLY define and codify our efforts to center youth voices within our systems change work. The topic of how school resource officers contribute to the school to prison pipeline is the focus of Episode 9 of the PolicyWise podcast featuring Nick.
FLY believes that youth are the experts of their own experience, and amplifying their voices is part of FLY’s DNA. FLY itself was founded upon the ideas and feedback provided by youth involved in the juvenile justice system hoping to prevent other young people from having the same fate. Twenty years later, we continue to honor this tradition by engaging and collaborating with young people as true partners in our work.
At FLY, we love sharing personal success stories to illustrate the determination and hard work of our youth. This is the story of Noemi, who participated in our Law and Reentry Programs and overcame many challenges to prove that she can build a bright future for herself.
FLY’s Board explains that how we treat youth in FLY is what we want for youth throughout society: love and compassion, belonging, equity, fairness, and opportunity.
As our programs operate against the backdrop of a global health pandemic, our work to pursue justice for youth is front and center. Right now, FLY is evolving from a “service to some” organization into the “justice for all” organization we were always intended to be.
Due to COVID-19, all of FLY’s volunteer training had to be conducted virtually. Our staff approached this new endeavor with both excitement and nervousness. They were stepping into the unknown, but with great communication and preparation, the SCC Law Program was able to recruit 15 new volunteers for this year’s Fall semester! The training itself was a huge success, and our staff were able to tackle each item they set out to teach our volunteers.
“Nonprofit leadership transitions, especially those that involve a founder stepping down, can be fraught with uncertainty. Throw in a global pandemic, economic crisis, and racial injustice, and the challenge might seem near impossible. Yet for Ali Knight, the new CEO of Fresh Lifelines for Youth, it was the perfect time for him and the organization to take a bold step.” The Bridgespan Group is a highly respected global nonprofit committed to strengthening other mission-driven organizations and philanthropists through management and consulting. They recently began a series of articles about FLY’s recent CEO transition. In this first part of the series,