At the fourth annual Culinary Inspirations fundraiser this week, 17 current and former foster youths will be paired with area chefs to benefit the oldest youth-led child welfare advocacy organization in the country.
California Youth Connection, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that give foster youth a voice in the legislative process on laws regarding foster care, turned 25 this year. The fundraisers supports CYC’s state-wide network of youth-led advocacy groups.
One of the youths involved in this year’s fete is Kahmaria Holleman, a student at Sacramento City College. She is working with Arlene Hylton, a San Francisco Dept. of Human Services employee who also owns her own catering business, on a jerk chicken dish with macaroni and cheese.
“I was taken away from my mom at birth and lived with many family members, but wasn’t ever put in legal guardianship with a foster parent until my 15th birthday,” said Holleman, in the organization’s press release about the event.”I didn’t understand it. But once that happened, I finally felt like I was loved, and wanted. I felt like I was part of a real family.”