At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, California Youth Connection (CYC), a youth-led organization committed to transforming the foster care system, found themselves without an executive director. The uncertainty of the times and the need to have an integrated leader presented an opportunity for CYC to redefine their path.
With support from the Edward W. Hazen Foundation, CYC embarked on a journey that would center youth and allow them decision-making power over their organization’s leadership. In a co-authored opinion piece for Nonprofit Quarterly, CYC’s executive director Janay Eustace and Hazen’s former program officer Isabel Sousa dive into the youth-supported process that led Janay to guiding CYC. The pair share how funders can support leadership transition, especially those led by youth of color, to build a more resilient future.