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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Did You Know:

Traditional anti-poverty strategies like income support and social services provide vital safety nets for low-income families, but are not effective in helping many participants raise themselves out of poverty.

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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

Interview with Yali Lincroft, Program Officer,
Walter S Johnson Foundation
Fostering Media Connection, October 31, 2013