National Foster Care Month is nationally recognized and takes place in May. The Foster Youth Awareness Month or #FYAM initiative started at UC Merced in May of 2019. The learning outcomes for #FYAM are to understand some of the experiences of Foster Youth, to bring foster youth together to create and build community, to create awareness in the Merced community and beyond, and to be able to identify at least two ways to support the Foster Youth community.
In 2020, the program published its very own #FYAM website and also created an #FYAM campaign on Facebook and Instagram featuring artwork, personal poems, and stories by Foster Youth across California. We were able to reach over 10,000 individuals across all platforms.
In 2021, the program sought a different approach and structure to our FYAM campaign. We decided to offer events specifically for community members, staff/faculty, foster youth across the state, as well as our very own GSP scholars. We hosted our first open event and invited scholars from CA community colleges, UCs, and CSUs to come together to share their visions by creating (virtual) vision boards. We also hosted our very first GSP Information Session and Ally Training for UC Merced staff/faculty and community members. Finally, we updated our #FYAM website with new art. Check it out!