Helping Foster Youth Understand Risks of Attending For-Profit Colleges

This new website helps guide foster youth through choosing a college, including risks of attending for-profit institutions and taking on high loans.

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Our Vision:

Help youth become successful adults by preparing them to participate fully in their education, their workplaces and their communities.

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Changing the Story

This report identifies 4 recommendations to improve AB12 services in Sonoma County: improving access to extended foster services; targeting homelessness; increasing high school graduation; and improving college access.

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Federal Legislation Introduced

In Sept 2016, Congress introduced a tax incentive to encourage private sector employers to hire foster youth.

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Our Heritage:

Walter S. Johnson was born in East Saginaw, Michigan in 1884. He moved West while still a youngster, ultimately settling in San Francisco, and graduated from the University of California law school in 1914.

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The Walter S. Johnson Foundation assists transition-aged foster and other vulnerable youth in Northern California and Washoe County, Nevada, to become successful adults by promoting positive change to the policies and systems that serve them and supporting high impact and promising practices in the following areas: provision of supportive services, and promotion of success in college and career.

Our Funding Priorities

Transition-Aged Foster Youth

1 Every year in California, about 4,000 youth age out of foster care without adequate social support or life skills. To ensure a successful transition to adulthood, WSJF partners with state and county social service agencies, post-secondary institutions, community-based organizations, and other foundations to create an integrated system of services for current and former foster youth aged 14 to 24.

Education Completion Strategies

2 Fewer than one third of students that start at a California community college complete their educational goals, such as transfer to a four-year school, or completion of an associate’s degree or a career technical certificate. WSJF works with post-secondary institutions, primarily community colleges, to address barriers to completion at the systems and classroom level.

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