50 Fund Rookie Playmaker: Ricardo Ramirez and California Youth Connection

Our 37th Playmaker and second Rookie Playmaker is Ricardo Ramirez and the California Youth Connection from the 50 Fund, the Host Committee’s philanthropic arm.

The 50 Fund and the Levi’s® brand are recognizing five Rookie Playmakers – youth ages 13-24 who are making a difference in the Bay Area by protecting the environment and advocating for community members in need.  

California Youth Connection is a youth-led organization that develops leaders who empower each other and their communities to transform the foster care system through legislative and policy change. 

Their Playmaker grant will be used to support CYC’s Foster Youth Museum and their centerpiece exhibit Lost Childhoods, which provides a platform for former foster youth to share stories, images and artifacts as a means to project their voice, increase public awareness of their experiences and engage communities in creating positive change in the child welfare system. The Lost Childhoods exhibit will be at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and the Playmaker grant will allow CYC to provide paid internships as well as cover transportation costs for foster youth from around the region to the opening. 

They have recognized Ricardo Ramirez, age 20, who has been essential to the development of the Foster Youth Museum. He was raised in foster care in Fresno County and first engaged with CYC in 2012 as a concrete way to improve the foster care system in which his three younger siblings still reside.

“CYC has been almost everything for me. Before CYC, I had no real vision of a bright future. They taught me public speaking skills, gave me opportunities to take on leadership roles and helped me change the foster care system for the good. CYC has helped make me who I am today,” said Ricardo.

50 weeks. 50 grants. 50 opportunities to recognize Bay Area residents who are making a difference through their service to our community in celebration of Super Bowl 50. The 50 Fund’s Playmaker program was designed to showcase the real difference Bay Area nonprofits are making in the lives of our children, and people behind the scenes who are making that impact possible. 

Every Tuesday, the 50 Fund – the legacy fund of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee – will reveal a new Playmaker and share that nonprofit’s story of inspiration.

featured image photo credit: Jeremiah McWright, California Youth Connection member