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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TeenForce Founder Wins Jefferson Award

With teen unemployment at 3x the national average, TeenForce founder John Hogan provides employment and job training for Bay Area youth.

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California CASA

Since 1976, California Court Appointed Special Advocates has trained and supported volunteers to help children involved in the juvenile court system.

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New Bill Supports Foster Youth Scholars

In 2015, California approved $15 million to support funding for 10 community college districts to support their program helping foster youth students.

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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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California College Pathways

This report offers new insights into the educational experiences of foster youth attending 2- and 4-year campuses in California by providing information on a common set of academic progress and outcome measures.

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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

With support from the Walter S. Johnson Foundation, iFoster has joined up with Grocery Industry Partners to provide a pipeline of pre-qualified foster youth candidates for job opportunities. Promotional video produced by Raley’s (May 2015).