July 19, 2023

JBAY Celebrates Three Major Budget Victories

JBAY Celebrates Three Major Budget Victories

Youth Advocate Christina Torrez is the first in her family to graduate high school and attend college – but none of that would be possible without the help of financial aid. “Foster youth deserve the same opportunities as other youth to have a chance to have a stable life by obtaining high education.”

At John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY), we are proud to announce that foster youth will now receive increased financial aid for college! 

Specifically, students enrolled in at least 12 units in community college will receive $5,250 per semester to cover their unmet need. And foster youth attending a CSU or UC campus will receive full coverage of their unmet need after accounting for a student contribution.

“With financial challenges being cited repeatedly by students with experience in foster care as the greatest barrier to college completion, these additional funds will be a game changer for many students,” says Debbie Raucher, JBAY’s Director of Education. 

This is one of three exciting investments led by JBAY that are included in the 2023-2024 California State Budget.

The second is direct financial assistance to prevent homelessness among foster youth. Over 3,000 young people will receive increased foster care payments, based on the cost of housing where they live. 

Lastly, the third is a whopping $100 million to reduce homelessness among youth in California! Thanks to this investment, a generation of youth will be able to pursue their educational and professional goals without experiencing the fear of housing instability. 

This year, the work of JBAY has been especially challenging, but also very rewarding. Amidst a historic deficit, JBAY Executive Director Amy Lemley appreciates all those who have helped make these accomplishments possible.

“We thank Governor Newsom and his administration for their sustained commitment in supporting the lives of foster and homeless youth. We also recognize the public agencies, campuses, nonprofit organizations, and youth who have worked closely with us to make a case for these important investments.”