BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Local non-profit Y Empowerment hosted a graduation for participants of its peer-to-peer mentor program this weekend.

Y Empowerment is an organization that focuses on battling child abuse and serving foster children as well as those who have aged out of the foster care system.

The graduating group finished a rigorous 12-week program that helped them gain skills to help kids who may suffer from childhood trauma.

Saturday’s ceremony took place at the Boys & Girls Club on Niles Street in East Bakersfield with guest speakers like Mayor Karen Goh. 17’s Moses Small emceed the event.

Graduates, like Zairah Soliz, said they can’t wait to help their community.

“I’m very excited to finally feel like I can be a mentor and finally talk to children, and see their side of the story,” she said. “Tell them my side, my ways to help them, and be the friend they need.”

To learn more about Y Empowerment and its program, or to donate to the group, visit their website at this link.