20 years of building connections with youth in foster care 

volunteer3.jpg

"IT TAKES A VILLAGE" - BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THAT VILLAGE DOESN'T EXIST? 

20 years ago, we set out to answer that question

Founded on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of non-violence, Peace4Kids inspired to build a supportive community for youth in foster care in South Los Angeles.

We weren’t preachers or teachers. Instead, our early years were spent listening and discovering. Tired from hiding in the shadows, our youth were ready to share the strengths gained from their unique experiences and trauma. Honoring their journey helped signal their importance and value in the community. With this profound insight, “Community as Family” emerged and continues to shape how we engage today.

Our youth demonstrated the value of acknowledging personal experience and trauma leading the way for Peace4Kids to develop into a space of healing and discovery for all. Our "Village" has grown organically and exponentially: engaged youth, committed volunteers and community leaders all contribute to our success. Through consistency, trust and deep vulnerability, we've formed life-long relationships.

We’re truly grateful for the thousands of youth we've connected with, and thank each and every one of you for being a part of our Community as Family

 

donate_youth.jpg SAM_3948.jpg
Foster Support
Foster Community
Donate Today Volunteer

We can't do it without YOU! Support 100% free programming for South Los Angeles youth in foster care by making your gift today.

Join the Family! Through our programs and training, volunteers develop the skills and knowledge that support foster youth success. 

donate_youth.jpg SAM_3948.jpg
Foster Sustainability
Foster Knowledge
Fundraise Get Informed

Our campaigners have done some pretty amazing things to build a sustainable and vibrant future for youth in foster care. What will YOU do?

Sign up for our email list to receive regular stories and updates from Peace4Kids. We promise, you'll be glad you did!


With youth in foster care facing challenging odds, they deserve a supportive community that nurtures their gifts

At Peace4Kids, our vision of "Community As Family" provides consistency, stability and trust - so that youth in care reach their highest potential
suitcase_grey.jpg home_grey.jpg

ON AVERAGE, FOSTER YOUTH WILL MOVE 7 TIMES DURING PLACEMENT

1 in 5 WILL BE HOMELESS UPON EXITING CARE
light_bulb_grey.jpg grad_grey.jpg

 1 in 4 FOSTER CARE ALUMNI EXPERIENCE PTSD  

NEARLY 50% of YOUTH EXITING CARE WILL NOT HAVE FINISHED HIGH SCHOOL

unknown_hero.jpgWhat makes a Super Hero?

Heroes are born when the world they once knew tragically falls apart. This moment inspires an unexpected pursuit of greatness as they must find the light to guide them through the darkness.


Thinking back to the story of the great super heroes, we're reminded of the experience of our youth. Often feeling isolated and alone, society teaches them that their experiences make them “at risk.” Everyday interactions in our community perpetuate this isolation with the most common phrases like, “take this home to your parents” or “what time is your mom picking you up?” Our young folks are forced to move through life trying to overcome the public's perception of “who they are.”

If you look deeper into Super Hero stories, there's an even more surprising connection… 

All of these heroes were youth in foster care!

⚡️Batman is raised by his Butler [non-relative caregiver]

⚡️Superman is taken in by a family in Kansas [adoption]

⚡️Storm is brought to a home for mutant children [group home]

 


To overcome public perceptions, youth in foster care must be super human.

For 20 years, Peace4Kids has been a safe space for youth to honor the pain of their past and learn to embrace a future that builds on their individual and collective strengths. A home for heroes.

As a result, our youth have received awards from the White House, built innovative structures to feed the community, and even been named to Time Magazine’s “Most Influential People Under 30.”

While these stories are phenomenal, our youth are ready to do more!


Join our Heroes Circle today – Click the button below to make a recurring gift to secure the future for a youth in foster care

For our 20th Anniversary, Peace4Kids is expanding programming to more deeply serve young adults ages 18 – 25. We've learned that these years are the most critical time for the youth in our community. Suddenly the foster care system that once shielded them, thrusts them into a world that is unforgiving to their journey.

By stepping into our Heroes Circle with a monthly donation, you'll build a sustainable future for youth transitioning out of foster care. 100% of your donation funds strength based, youth focused programming in South LA - honoring each youth’s unique needs, experiences, abilities and legacy. In return, you'll:

⚡️Be invited to exclusive events

⚡️Receive a limited edition 20 Year Anniversary t-shirt

⚡️Be inspired by stories of resilience, strength and promise from our Peace4Kids family

⚡️#SeeTheHero in our youth, because the truth is… that’s who they are. 

 


what's new?

  • Latest from the blog

    An authentic portrayal of the foster care journey

    While all young adults struggle with finding their voice and their path, those with a history in foster care have complexities that are hard to understand. Typically, the relationships with intergenerational allies – both biological family and friends, help us navigate this difficult transition to adulthood. But what happens when these allies are non-existent? What if those who went before us are the reason why we question our very existence? These are the questions highlighted by our very own Angelica Nwandu & Jordana Spiro in what LA Times dubbed an "Emotionally poignant film". The Director, Jordana, is a former Peace4Kids volunteer and supporter. The co-writer, Angelica (Angie), is an alumna of Peace4Kids and currently sits on our Board of Directors. I do not endorse this film because of my personal ties. In fact, my deeply connected relationship to Angie made watching this film a much more painful experience. I have mentored Angie for the past 15 years of her life. I have witnessed her attempt to anchor her story and heal from the pain of her past. I have watched the dynamics with her sisters shift while her doubts sent her into the darkest corners of her soul. I have also witnessed her find the light and transform her pain into inspiration. Intimately knowing the darkness has given her the ability to see opportunity where others are too afraid to go. 
    Continue reading

    Everything I believe about food, I learned from a five-year-old.

    Everything I believe about food, I learned from a five-year-old. It was her lesson, twenty years ago, that gave birth to our food justice campaigns. In the early days of Peace4Kids, we were only a garden -- the 99th Street Elementary School Peace Garden. I was in my early 20s and a very strict vegan. This caused friction with many of our youth’s parents and caregivers because at all of our program activities, we allowed only plant-based foods to be served. When the children questioned this, I would explain about the food ecosystems and the impact meat has on our health, as well as the environment. As a result, they began requesting plant-based diets at home. This led to nightly calls from angry caregivers during dinner time. The complaint was always the same, “You made these kids not want meat?! Then you need to come over here and feed them.”
    Continue reading