Los Gatos Living | August 2018
By: Chelsea Palacio
In California, there are over 60,000 foster youth with over 40% experiencing homelessness in their lives. For 25 years, Unity Care has been working to help foster and former foster youth find their permanent home while gaining skills needed to be successful. The agency’s goalis to eradicate youth homelessness when they age out of foster care by providing safe, secure, and positive living environments; educating and supporting underserved youth; and preparing young people to pursue professions in which minorities are chronically underrepresented.
To help Unity Care fulfill this mission, the agency hosts their annual YouthLive! Gala. All the proceeds from this gala fund programs that benefit foster youth in Northern California. Unity Care programs include the Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Program (STRTP) which provides teens with a nurturing home environment and therapeutic services, Transitional Housing Programs (THP) which provide transitional housing for former foster youth ages 18–24, the Independent Living Program (ILP) which helps foster youth develop life skills needed to become self-sufficient adults, and many more.
Every year, the illustrious gala draws over 350 local business leaders, philanthropists and community partners to help Unity Care’s impact for foster youth in Northern California. This year’s event will also celebrate the successes from Unity Care’s past 25 years of service to foster. Attendees will enjoy a night filled with live music, youth art, and testimonials from former Unity Care foster youth. “It will be a night to remember!”said Founder and CEO, André Chapman. “With 25 years of experience, the memories shared by our youth and supporters are sure to include a few happy tears in celebration of all the kids whose lives we have changed for the better.”
Highlights of the night will be our keynote speaker, Stedman Graham, Unity Care’s Community Champion awardee Roy Clay Sr., and youth speaker, Joelle Williams. Stedman Graham is a highly praised author, educator and entrepreneur, as well as the CEO of S. Graham & Associates.Known worldwide for his trademarked work in Identity Development, his Identity Leadership programs driven by aNine-Step Success Process™, are based on the philosophy that individuals holdthe power to their educational, career, and personal success.
Roy Clay Sr. is the Founder and CEO of ROD-L Electronics and is well known for playing an important role in the development of Silicon Valley and Hewlett-Packard’s computer division. This award recognizes his forward-thinking leadership, philanthropic efforts in the community, and long-standing support for Unity Care.
Joelle Williams, is currently participating in Unity Care’s transitional housing program. She has grown up in the foster care system overcoming many personal challenges. With Unity Care’s housing and supportive services, she is on a path to a better future. Joelle is an extremely intelligent young woman, graduating among the top of her class from Stanford University, and is bravely sharing her struggles to advocate on behalf of the thousands of foster children in the community who need our help.
The youth talent at YouthLive! are always an impressive show, this year featuring Bay Area youth 16-year-old Tia Nguyen, 14-year old Victoria Thuy Vi McDowell, 18-year old Khalil Williams, 16-year old Anagrace Rodriguez, and the Syndikidz dance group.
YouthLive! will be held on August 25, 2018 at Club Auto Sport in San Jose. If you are interested in supporting Unity Care’s efforts to improve the lives of foster youth in our communities, please go to www.youth-live.comto learn more or purchase your tickets. Tickets are selling fast and we anticipate a sold-out event, so buy your ticket online today! Unity Care also accepts monetary and in-kind donations. Please go to www.unitycare.orgfor more information about Unity Care programs or how to get involved. Don’t forget to follow them on social media: Facebook: @UnityCare, Instagram: @Unity.Care, Twitter: @UnityCare, and Linkedin.