EYAB ALUMNI

In our efforts to update the community about the continuous work or our EYAB team after their service here at HEY we are launching our “Where Are They Now” Alumni Page. Our EYAB 2009/2010 has taken it upon themselves to connect with all of our  EYAB Alumni and EYAB Staff.  They are highlighting former team members and staff by conducting one-on-one interviews to find out more about their lives. Our intention is to rally the community around the success and progress of our EYAB Alumni and their continuous work in the communities we serve.  EYAB 2009/2010 believes that if we can bring the EYAB Alumni together once again, we can build a stronger community network and younger  foster youth can continue to be inspired by such wonderful leaders.

If you are an EYAB Alumni or EYAB Staff we would love to highlight your success on our webpage. Please contact Claudia Mendez at [email protected] or 415-808- 4256

Erika White 2008-2009
Erika White is a 21 year old native of Santa Cruz, who recently relocated to San Francisco. She is a new member of the 2008 EYAB board who hopes to focus her work on the mental and behavioral health of foster youth. As an emancipated foster youth herself, Erika brings to the table an array of personal experiences that she hopes can be used to enrich the lives of others. Currently, she is studying Dietetics and Psychology in Monterey, with plans to become a Registered Dietician, and eventually an M.F.T. When not working with HEY, Erika can be spotted working at a Chiropractic office in Pacifica, sampling restaurants, ducking into bookstores, and jogging along the beach.

“Where Are They Now” Interview on February, 19, 2010:

1.)    What is your name and what EYAB term did you serve on?

Erika White and I served 2008-2009

2.)    How did you hear about EYAB at that time, and what was your reason for wanting to join?

I saw the HEY’s EYAB position on craigslist and after looking at the description I knew I was a good match for this job because I passionate about staying involved in the foster care world.

3.)    How long was your term?

It was for 11 months

4.)    What are some key life lessons that you learned from being on EYAB?

I learned to have more patience and how to depend on other people. I also learned to be a little bit more extroverted.

5.)    What are some key career lessons you learned from being on EYAB?

Before my term with EYAB I was not use to depending on others and was very independent. I had to learn how to delegate and work with others. I enjoyed having a team to work with because it was not only me doing the work and the work was a lot more balanced.

6.)    If you could use one word to summarize your EYAB experience what would it be and why?

The word I would use to summarize my experience with EYAB would be amazing because I got an experience that I would have not had anywhere else. I was educated about other scenarios that happen in foster care and was able to see foster care in a whole other outlook. I also was happy to have met Chio and Steven because I did not know many people, since I had barely moved from Santa Cruz.

7.)    Do you feel that EYAB prepared you to be where you are now?

Yes, being and EYAB member allowed me to gain patience, tolerance, understanding and empathy for others. All these characteristics help me now work with others and have healthy relationships.

8.)    What is currently going on in your life?(i.e. school, job, etc)

I am currently going to school, working as a massage therapist and playing with my cute puppy. :)

 9.)    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I am planning to be done with nursing school and would like to be working with children that have diabetes and eating disorders.

10.) Where would you like to see the EYAB in 5 years(i.e. hopes for the EYAB)

I would like to see the EYAB become more visible locally and in a national level. Also I would like to see an EYAB Alumni integration because I think it would make the program stronger and build a strong network.

Chio Saetern
Chio Saetern is a member of EYAB where he works on a team and individually to create and run programs, attend youth conferences, and work with the adults and the youth in the community. When Chio emancipated from foster care at age 18, he lived in a homeless shelter for more than six months before coming to First Place for Youth (a non-profit organization that house emancipated foster youth) for help in finding housing and support services. He is passionate about giving back to his community and enjoys working with youth who have grown up in similar situations. He wants to educate others about the resources that are available to foster youth, and those who are affiliated with foster youth. In the future he hopes that he can outreach to youth lifting them up by being a motivational speaker and a youth counselor. In addition to working for HEY he is also an employee at First Place For Youth, and attending Laney Community College in Oakland where he is pursuing a double major in social work and psychology.

“Where Are They Now” Interview on February,9, 2010:

1.)    What is your name and what EYAB term did you serve on?

My name is Chio Saetern and my term was 2008/2009

2.)    How did you hear about EYAB at that time, and what was your reason for wanting to join?

I was employed at an organization call First Place for Youth and the one of the staff served as the chairman for H.E.Y. (which I didn’t know at first he was also my temporary supervisor) I also saw a flyer posted down stairs in Oakland where First Place is located. I read the description and the qualifications needed to apply. I really like it since it gave me an opportunity to raise awareness and work as a team player and educating others about foster care issues/challenge and what they face before and after emancipation. So I ask the Chairman more about it and he said he could give me a recommendation.

3.)    How long was your term?

It was for 11 months (which would be 1 term) if I could apply again I would.

4.)    What are some key life lessons that you learned from being on EYAB?

Regardless of who are, where we are from and our background, you should stand and fight for positive outcomes?

5.)    What are some key career lessons you learned from being on EYAB?

That speaking in public is an everyday thing and that you should not be afraid of what you are fighting for. Advocating for changes and about foster care are sensitive topics which if you are fortunate to share do not be afraid which will not only benefit you but hundreds of other transitional age youth.

6.)    If you could use one word to summarize your EYAB experience what would it be and why?

All the Synonyms for Amazing, because it’s more than an experience it’s a relationship you can develop with the community and a bond that holds the community together.

7.)    Do you feel that EYAB prepared you to be where you are now?

Yes it gave me more experience to put on my resume, working with a team and a wonderful supervisor (Dana and with the help of Sara) to develop a curriculum to educate others about foster care is wonderful. Learning how to work through challenges and barriers is a tool that you will use with you throughout life. I gain some of those tools while being part of HEY. 

8.)    What is currently going on in your life?(i.e. school, job, etc)

Bills, Bills and more bills- I am still employed at First Place for Youth, school is going pretty well- I just need Statistic and political science to get my AA. I could not enroll this semester because all the class were booked and because of the budget cut classes were cut as well.

9.)    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Don’t freak out, maybe the military if not a BA in sociology and maybe a Chio Saetern Jr. J

10.) Where would you like to see the EYAB in 5 years(i.e. hopes for the EYAB)

Tough one…! I would like to see it in another county- and in 10years I would like it to expand to Los Angeles.


Honoring Emancipated Youth
at United Way of the Bay Area

221 Main Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94105
Office: 415-808-4284

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