Community Based Connections, Inc. (CBCI) was founded in 2009 by Brian C. Johnson on the belief that service providers who have natural ties to the communities they serve are in the best position to help those persons to adopt long term solutions to their own problems. Our organization’s leadership was either raised in, lives in, and/or spent substantial social and community service time, in the communities we serve. Therefore, we are in a unique position to build and maintain community connections that support positive youth development.
CBCI considers it important to have this extensive level of engagement from youth because it insulates them in a support system where their thoughts, opinions, and recommendations are equally valued. This is something rarely considered in the foster care system as youth are often removed and shuffled around without consideration of their wants and needs. Additionally, involving youth counters cultural norms, particularly within the Black communities, where children are expected to be “seen and not heard.” CBCI takes every opportunity to encourage youth to become their own advocates and to speak up for their own wants and needs, empowering them to take ownership over their lives.