January 6th is the deadline to submit applications for the 2012 CCAI Foster Youth Internship Program. This program brings current and former foster youth from across the country to intern in Congressional offices for a summer internship. During the program, interns participate in a number of advocacy and professional development activities. They have the opportunity to share their firsthand knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of foster care with policymakers who can affect change.
See how these former interns were impacted by the program:
“I recommended the FYI program to a friend of mine who ultimately interned through FYI the year after I did. Like me, he has also stated that he felt this was a life changing opportunity for him. I continue to encourage foster care alumni who I know to apply for this program because I feel that this is a wonderful opportunity to see our nation’s capitol, to learn about the political structure of our legislature and to meet other people who have similar life experiences to themselves.”
“Due to being an intern with FYI, CCAI asked me to help them pick interns for a couple of the other classes, which was an honor but a grueling decision to have to make. CCAI also contacts me every Christmas to send me cards and gifts, which makes me feel like they are remembering me and caring about my future. I have also nominated a number of people I know for Angels in Adoption and their selection has been one of the few ways I have felt that I have been able to thank them in the way that they truly deserve. Thanking these people has been a delight for me and for the people who were recognized and I feel that the legislators who made the choices were more educated for having learned about them.”
“The FYI program was where I discovered what I actually wanted to do; how I wanted to impact the foster care system. For nearly three years I had been passionate about reforming the foster care system, but it was during my time on the Hill that I realized how I wanted to change it. While direct service was rewarding to me, I felt like I wasn’t able to change the foster care system on a substantive level. The FYI program didn’t just teach me legislative ideas, it inspired me and emboldened me to create my own ideas.”