Local Foster Youth Advocate Recognized

In the early 1990s, as a United Methodist Church (UMC) missionary with her husband, Joseph, Lydia Cincore-Templeton worked among orphans of the Hutu-Tutsi Conflict from Rwanda, Burundi and Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo). The work inspired Cincore-Templeton to give up her law practice and help foster children and at-risk youth in Los Angeles.

So, in 1993, with $18,000 from her savings, she launched Children Youth and Family Collaborative (CYFC) at Holman United Methodist Church with the goal of creating a multi-faceted academic intervention, tutoring, enrichment and support services program.

Now Cincore-Templeton, who lives in the 2nd Supervisorial District, will be featured in a documentary about trailblazing women in America alongside other notables such as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Children’s Defense Fund Founder and President Marian Wright Edelman, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and novelist Alice Walker.

“The work that I do has never been about me. It is about my ability and responsibility to help others. I feel fortunate to be able to provide services, assistance and encouragement to children and youth who are among the most vulnerable,” said Cincore-Templeton, a New Orleans native. “It is an honor to be acknowledged for the work done by my team to raise the level of awareness about the academic needs of children within the foster care system. And, it is especially rewarding to be in the company of trailblazers whose work speaks volumes.”

MAKERS: Women Who Make America, a three hour documentary produced by filmmakers Dyllan McGee, Betsy West, Peter Kunhardt and developed by AOL, is expected to air on PBS in early 2013. MAKERS.com is a new digital platform developed by AOL and PBS, showcasing hundreds of compelling stories from women of today and tomorrow. In addition, she will receive a $10,000 grant.

Cincore-Templeton has grown the CYFC from a staff of one to more than 125 employees with an annual budget of $4.5 million, serving more than 5,000 youth. The organization’s programs provide academic intervention, tutoring and support services at 40 sites, including 19 schools in the 2nd District. In fact, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, in a motion co-authored by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Gloria Molina, recently approved more than $1 million in funding for CYFC to continue providing tutoring, academic enrichment and other services.

In addition, this year CYFC was one of only two organizations in Los Angeles County awarded $3.6 million over a four year period through a federal Department of Education grant. The money will be used to expand the Academic Remediation Intervention Support Services and Educational Program Model, targeting foster youth in the eastern part of L.A. County. Some other outreach programs include Boys Up-Lifted (B-UP), Bringing Role Models In To Develop Girls’ Self-Esteem (BRIDGE); Project Advance, which focuses on academic improvement for foster care and at-risk youth, Business, Internships and Development (BID), which provides education and paid internships and College Level Up to help students navigate the college admissions process among others. Also, each year, her organization sponsors a holiday event and distributes gifts to more than 3500 kids living in foster placement.

“The work Lydia and her team at CYFC are doing has changed the lives of countless foster youth,” said Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas. “I am proud to know her and to support her efforts to give these children a chance at a better life.”