In California every year, about 4,000 18 year-olds emancipate from foster care and find themselves on their own. Without adequate social support or life skills, many become homeless, out of work or incarcerated.
College is out of reach for most of these youth. Only 19% of the 19 year-olds who are former foster youth enroll in college compared with 62% of 19 year-olds nationally. Less than 2% of former foster youth complete a bachelor’s degree, compared with 24% of the general population. In California, 55% of former foster youth attend community college, but only 60% of those earn any college credit and only 14% earn more than 30 credits. Less than 2% of former foster youth in California complete a bachelor’s degree.
The problem begins with former foster youth’s lack of college readiness (one-third receive neither a high school diploma nor a GED, as compared with 10 percent in the general population). But even college-ready foster youth still lack the housing, counseling and financial aid they need to persist in college.
California College Pathways, currently in place at 31 colleges, universities, and technical schools in Orange County and the Bay Area, provides former foster youth with year-round housing, financial aid, counseling, and academic tutoring and support.
In the past two years, there has been growing interest from institutions of higher education in starting college support programs for former foster youth, due to the efforts of private foundations and higher education to expand college access for former foster youth, and new federal grant money to help former foster youth meet their vocational and higher education goals.
In response, the Stuart and Walter S Johnson foundations have joined with California State University, California Community Colleges and the John Burton Foundation to expand California College Pathways programs.
California College Pathways programs use these support strategies:
For more information, please visit the California College Pathways website.
Research released on May 26, 2016 reveals a marked digital divide for foster youth. Led by the Walter S. Johnson Foundation and Foster Care Counts, a public/private coalition has been created to address this digital divide in California.
This collaboration is focused on both micro and macros solutions, including:
For more information, please visit the hackfostercare.org website.
More and more smart employers are committing to a double bottom line: profitably growing their businesses while providing foster youth pathways to life success through employment. And with the largest labor gap for the next generation of work-ready employees ever facing this country, a commitment to hiring talented young people is all the more urgent.
Youth in foster care have boundless potential to grow the nation’s economy. With the right training and support, the strength and resilience that has helped them overcome life challenges also instills the persistence and drive to succeed on the job.
By bringing together businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and philanthropy, the goal of the Hireafosteryouth.org campaign is to:
For more information, go to hireafosteryouth.org
- Member, Grants Committee
- Chair, Investments Committee
- Chair, Audit Committee
- Chair, Grants Committee
- Member, Audit Committee
- Member, Technology Committee
- Member, Investment Committee
- Member, Investments Committee
- Member, Grants Committee
- Member, Technology Committee
- Member, Nominations Committee
- Chair, Nominations Committee
- Chair, Technology Committee
- Member, Audit Committee
Ashley brings a background in both financial services and nonprofit management. Prior to joining Whittier Trust, Ashley worked as a Financial Advisor, where she was responsible for advising wealth management strategies for her clients and their families. She also spent several years as a director of a nonprofit organization serving chronically-ill youth in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Ashley earned her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California and has completed advanced studies at USC’s School of Social Work and The American College of Financial Services. She remains an active volunteer in the community, working with organizations that focus on homelessness, youth mentorship and education.
Yali Lincroft is a Vice President in Whittier Trust’s Philanthropic Services department. She is the Program Director for the Walter S. Johnson Foundation which assists transition age foster and other vulnerable youth in Northern California and Nevada become successful adults. Prior to joining Whittier Trust, Yali has worked for several public and private organizations including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, First Focus in Washington DC, and the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Family. She is the founding member for several co-funding efforts including the Nevada Foster Youth Success Initiative, the California College Pathways Initiative, and the Hack Foster Care Initiative. In 2018, she received the Bernard Osher Philanthropist of the Year from the Network of California Community College Foundations, the 2018 Council on Foundation/HUD Public Private Partnership Award, and the 2013 White House Champion for Change award. Yali received her MBA from the University of California at Davis and her BA in history with honors from the University of California at Berkeley. She is currently on the board of the Washington Children's Campaign Fund, the National Association for Counsel of Children and a steering committee member of the San Francisco Legal Services Funders Network.
Chuck Hoblitzelle manages the Foundation’s grantmaking process. He performs philanthropic due diligence on applicant organizations, reviews grant budgets and financial reports, and maintains our grants database. Chuck has more than 15 years of experience managing nonprofit programs in the U.S., India and Africa. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.
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. After working briefly as an attorney and serving in World War I,
Mr. Johnson became a partner in, and later the president of, Tarter,
Webster & Johnson, a wholesale lumber firm.
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. After working briefly as an attorney and serving in World War I, Mr. Johnson became a partner in, and later the president of, Tarter, Webster & Johnson, a wholesale lumber firm. In 1927, he founded the American Box Corporation, which later became the American Forest Products Corporation, and served as its president for more than forty years.
Mr Johnson also helped create Friden Calculating Machine Company in 1933 and was elected president in 1945 on the death of its founder. He remained active in the management of both companies until well into his eighties. Mr. Johnson died in 1978.
Walter Johnson received considerable public notice in 1959 with his lead gift to the city of San Francisco for the reconstruction of the Palace of Fine Arts. The building, designed by Bernard Maybeck and originally constructed in 1915 for the Panama-Pacific Exposition, had captured Mr. Johnson’s fancy when he visited the Exposition as a young man. The Palace remained an enduring interest throughout his life.
Mr. Johnson gave to many San Francisco institutions and served on many nonprofit boards. As an ongoing legacy, the Foundation continues to make general support grants to many of the same organizations that Mr. Johnson supported during his lifetime.
California CASA * California Youth Connection * Child Advocacy Alliance * Child and Family Policy Institute * Child Care Law Center * Community Services Employment Treatment (CSET) * East Bay Children’s Law Office (EBCLO) * Family Builders by Adoption * Family Support Services
GRANTS UNDER $40,000
Alameda Family Services * Alex Smith Foundation * American Bar Association * Breaking Barriers * Bronco Bench Foundation * Childcare Resources * Children’s Action Campaign * Children’s Network of Solano County * Children Now * Children’s Partnership * Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute * East Bay Children’s Law Office * Epicenter * Families Now * First Focus * FosterMore * Fostering Media Connection * HandsOn Central California * Hibiscus Children’s Center * John Burton Advocates for Youth * Los Rios Community College Foundation * Mikeroweworks Foundation * New Doors Venture * New Haven Tennis Outreach * National Association of Social Work – New Mexico * NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) * National Foster Youth Action Network * National Youth Employment Coalition * New Doors Venture * New Mexico State University Foundation * OneJustice * One Simple Wish * Paws in Need * Pinellas Education Foundation * Planned Partnerhood Mar Monte * Social Change Partners * StoneBridge School * Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway * Tri-Valley Haven * Yuba Community College * Western Center on Law and Poverty * Woodland Community College
LARGE AND MULTI-YEAR GRANTS
GRANTS UNDER $40,000
Alameda County Social Services Agency * Alex Smith Foundation * Ainsley’s Angels * Bay Area Legal Aid * Breaking Barriers * Bronco Bench Foundation * California State Library Foundation * California State University Fresno * California Youth Connections * Center for Fostering Success * Center for the Study of Social Policy * Childcare Resources * ChildFocus * Children Now * Children’s Partnership * Coastal Virginia Aquatics * Community Works West * Conservation Earth/dba Wildlife Association * Family Builders by Adoption * First Focus * Foster Youth Alliance * Foster Youth Education Fund * Fostering Media Connections * Hack the Hood * iFoster * Law Foundation of Silicon Valley * Learning Alliance * Legal Assistance for Seniors * Legal Services for Children * National Youth Employment Coalition * New Haven Tennis Outreach * OneJustice * Paws in Need * Pinellas Education Foundation * Pleasanton Partnerships in Education * Silicon Valley Children’s Fund * Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation * Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway * TeenForce * Thinkof -Us * Silicon Valley Children’s Fund * SOAR * University of California Merced * Wounded Warrior Project.
Multi-year grantees must submit interim reports for every year of the grant life-cycle, and a final report at the end of the grant cycle. Interim reports are due three months prior to the yearly anniversary. Reporting dates will be included in the grant contract. In addition to the narrative report, please submit an update on accomplishments to date on the current year’s accountability plan and a revised accountability plan for the upcoming grant year.
Single-year grantees who are considering applying for renewal funding should contact program staff six months prior to the end of the present grant-term. If invited to re-apply, a report on progress toward the present grant year’s goals, objectives, accountability plan, and spending should be submitted with the new proposal application.
All grantees are required to submit final reports, which are due two months after the end of the grant period, unless otherwise specified. For multi-year grants, the final report is a cumulative, comprehensive examination of the entire grant term.
Please note that the Foundation typically provides no more than two or three years of consecutive funding.
Since all reports have been revised recently, grantees should contact Charles “Chuck” Hoblitzelle, Grants Manager for current forms and instructions. chuckhoblitzelle(at)wsjf.org
Step 1) Determine your eligibility
We support organizations whose work qualifies as charitable, according to the IRS definition. This includes organizations with a 501(c) 3 status, public agencies, and projects sponsored by public charities. Only organizations serving the WSJF’s targeted regions of Northern California and Nevada are eligible for grants. We do not make grants to individuals, towards arts or film projects, or contribute to capital campaigns. We do not make grants to international organizations. For county chapters of state organizations, proposal invitations are generally only offered to the state organization.
Step 2) Determine your project’s fit
Review our funding priorities and list of previous grants to determine whether your efforts advance one or more of the Foundation’s goals and objectives. If you determine that your project/program aligns well with our strategy, please proceed to Step 3. Please review our Funding Priorities .
Step 3) Contact Us
If you have determined that your project is eligible and it is a fit for The WSJF funding priorities, please contact our Program Director: Yali Lincroft ([email protected]) to see whether you should submit a proposal. Often, a Letter of Inquiry is requested prior to a full proposal submission. The Walter S. Johnson Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.
Step 4) Submit a proposal (by invitation only)
If you have been invited to submit a proposal, a WSJF Program Officer or Grants Manager will send a proposal packet electronically. Please submit your application by the deadline that you have been given (typically several months prior to the board meeting at which your proposal will be considered). The proposal application packet consists of instructions, a checklist of required documents, and the foundation’s expectations with respect to the proposal. When completed, submit proposal and attachments electronically to our Program Director: Yali Lincroft ([email protected])
Please note, it can take approximately 3 to 6 months for program staff to conduct the necessary due diligence (which may include but not be limited to a site visit, follow-up meetings with key staff, reference checks, and program/financial assessment) to present funding recommendations to our Board of Trustees. During the review process, staff will keep you informed about your proposal’s status.
Step 5) Proposal review and funding determination
Program staff will notify you if and when your proposal will be presented to the Board of Directors and when to expect a decision. The Board meets four times each year to make funding decisions (February, May, July/August, and November). Proposals are generally due 3 months prior to the board meeting.
Please note that the Foundation typically provides no more than two or three years of consecutive funding to its grantees.
News from the field and from grantees
We make every effort to get back to email inquiries in a timely fashion, however due to the large number of emails received, we may be unable to quickly respond directly to your inquiry. Solicitation requests are not responded to so please avoid emailing us sales requests. We are located at 505 Montgomery Street, Suite 1200 | San Francisco, CA 94111-6529. To reach us via phone please call 415-283-1854. Our fax number is 415-283-1840