Former Foster Kid defies the odds and becomes the first African-American CEO of Advocate Organization – NBC Los Angeles
NBC4 and Telemundo 52 support six Southern California nonprofits with Project Innovation grants totaling more than $ 300,000.
One of the assisted programs is Casa LA, which advocates for children in the foster care system. The organization has just appointed its first African-American CEO.
Charity Chandler-Cole is the CEO of Casa LA and a woman on a mission.
“When people tell me that I can’t do something, or that I can’t accomplish something… the challenge is to prove you wrong,” she said.
As the first African-American CEO of Casa LA, the nonprofit that advocates for children in LA’s foster care system, she is a force to be reckoned with.
Chandler-Cole was once a foster child herself, who ended up in a juvenile room for stealing food and clothing.
“Our value in this system has diminished, being constantly told that we are worthless and that we will become nothing,” she said.
Chandler-Cole broke all records, after giving birth to a son at the age of 18 she went to college and now runs the very organization she fought against as a teenager .
“I wanted to prove to myself and to my siblings in the foster care system that we are capable of great things.”
In LA County, there are over 33,000 children in the foster care system. The number is up 25% since the start of the pandemic. Social workers are overwhelmed, so over the past 40 years, Casa LA has helped by training volunteers to work one-on-one with children to connect them with services, navigate court hearings, and mediate with children. schools.
More than a quarter of the children in LA’s foster care system are African American.
One of Chandler-Cole’s top priorities at the helm of Casa LA is to recruit more minority volunteers and show foster children that there is hope.
“I want these little girls and boys to see someone who looks like them in that position, so they can say, if Charity can do it … I can do it too.”
For more information on how you can volunteer, visit casala.org.