First Place for Youth’s 25th Anniversary celebration event in Oakland at Bloc15 on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023 was a resounding success. With nearly 300 guests in attendance, the event raised an impressive $650,000 for the organization and featured a spirited Live Auction with international trips. The evening was filled with energy, featuring the charismatic Franco Finn as the emcee and hypeman auctioneer, as well as stunning decor by Kathleen Deery Design and Standard Event Rentals, and an elegant dinner by Carrie Dove Catering and Events. The highlight of the event was hearing from youth and alumni speakers who shared their inspiring stories of how First Place for Youth positively impacted their journey to success. The Inaugural Founders’ Award was presented to Jen Mathews Friedman and Darryl Glass, recognizing their longstanding support as members of the Board of Directors, longtime volunteers, and donors to the organization. The Community Hero Award was presented to Austin Hooper, NFL Tightend for the Las Vegas Raiders, recognizing his impact on the lives of older foster youth through the Austin Hooper Foundation. With the support of the community, First Place for Youth provides housing, resources, and opportunities for young adults in six California counties to overcome barriers and unlock their full potential.