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"I do the work for CHC because it has always been in my heart to give back to my community. I have always loved working with youth, especially young girls. I can relate to the community challenges because not only do I work for the community, but I still reside in the community."

Karen Forte works as a Clinical Case Manager for the Community Healing Collaborative (CHC), where she provides “individual and group case management, outreach, youth leadership, anger management and mental health support, and other resources.” Her role allows her “to offer hope and support and give youth with limited access to resources a new way of thinking and living.” 

For this month's newsletter, we wanted to highlight some of the intergenerational work Karen has been able to accomplish within her work as Clinical Case Manager.  

Over 25 years ago, Karen provided mentorship to women in South and East Los Angeles. Now, Karen works in this same area as a Clinical Case Manager. She continues her work within this area because, while much has changed, inequities, violence, and systemic lack of investment still exist, leaving youth and families in need of support.  

During her first few months with CYS, Karen made enough of an impact within the communities she was focused on for word to spread about the support she was providing. One of her former mentees, now a mom, eventually reached. Karen explained that this previous mentee really benefitted from the mentorship Karen provided 25+ years ago. Her support helped her “remain out of gangs, raise her family and live an honest and productive life.” In addition to this mom reaching out, Karen has heard from a few other previous mentees, now moms, with similar experiences—appreciative of what Karen provided them, and hopeful she can do the same for their daughters. Karen explains that although these moms provide endless love and care to their individual children, “it takes a village to raise a child.” These mothers, who know the realities of youth gang-involvement and the need for positive adult role models, are able to work with Karen to support their daughters towards their most successful futures.  Karen will continue to show up in South and East Los Angeles to help connect families to resources, identify needs and offer support, and invest in her community. Learn more about the Community Healing Collaborative (CHC) on CYS' blog here: CHC.


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