California Photographers Focus on Life After Foster Care in New Book

For most 18- to 23-year-olds in the United States, trying to figure out life is enough of a struggle. But for the more than 4,000 young adults aging out of the foster care system in California each year, young adulthood comes with even more hurdles.

Within two to four years, 25 percent of these young people will be homeless, more than half will be unemployed and 20 percent will be in prison, estimates San Francisco CASA.

Youth Spirit Artworks

Low-Income, Homeless Teens Use Art for Job-Readiness

When Executive Director Sally Hindman founded YSA in 2007, she was aware of the need for a space for local homeless youth — a space that would give them opportunities to use art to unleash their creative energy and to experience a supportive peer community.

‘Our Kids’ — How One San Francisco Program Gets Teens Off Drugs

“We call them our kids versus our clients because they spend most of their time with us,” counselor Julia Barboza said. “At a lot of agencies, you don’t see that, kids just come in and out. Here, we do more than counsel kids and just sit in an office to help them reduce their use. We cook for them when they are hungry, we clothe them when they need clothes, we shelter them when they need shelter.”

Los Ryderz

Ex-Gang Member’s Life Does a 180 After He Joins Los Ryderz

LOS ANGELES — Riding his bike through the barren projects of Watts — the sidewalks of which are scattered with used heroin needles and double-sided razor blades — 21-year-old William Fabian is enjoying himself. He is exploring his neighborhood with friends from Los Ryderz, a biking club for youth who are struggling to escape gang activity.

Kendrick Lamar

Rapper Kendrick Lamar Uses Music, Money As Vehicle for Social Change

The high school in Compton had a small, financially starved music program until hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar decided to give back to his old school. Since the donation, the music director has been able to establish both string and jazz ensembles and buy dozens of new instruments and music supplies.