Our Mission:

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

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Did You Know:

Every year in California, about 4,000 youth age-out of foster care without adequate social support or life skills.

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Did You Know:

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.

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Supporting kin, protecting children

Relatives step up to care for children in foster care but California denies state funding in more than half of all cases. Join the Step Up coalition to help foster children raised by relatives.

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The Epicenter

Check out the great news coverage of the The Epicenter, a new youth-led community center in Monterey County started via a WSJF planning grant.

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FosterU logo

FosterU

We are pleased to announce the launch of FosterU, a national movement of foster youth within higher education working together to help our nation’s foster youth as they enter adulthood.

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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 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.

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.

What’s New

Dreamcatcher is a shelter and support center for homeless and runaway youth ages 13-19 in Oakland. Promotional video produced by Creative Visions Foundation (April 2014). Funded by the Walter S Johnson Foundation.