California Thriving Youth Initiative

Collective support for the learning, leadership, and well-being of California’s adolescents. 

Isadora Kosofsky/CatchLight for Stuart Foundation

Meeting a moment in California and the United States that holds both immense promise and significant challenges for public education and the adolescents that schools serve and support.

In June 2024, the Foundation announced, with partners, two multi-year collaborative funds that comprise the California Thriving Youth Initiative, which leverages and integrates decades of related work in California. Housed at the California Community Foundation, the Initiative is seeded with a $30 million investment by the Stuart Foundation and benefits from further investments by a range of philanthropic partners.   

  • The Purpose of Education Fund supports and strengthens young people’s sense of belonging, purpose, and agency within our democracy. Through the Purpose of Education Fund, we seek to reassert the role that public education plays in our country’s diverse and changing democracy, making California a national example of schooling that enlivens civic engagement. 
  • The Youth Thriving Through Learning Fund fosters innovation and reimagines the learning experience for California’s diverse majority of youth while building on unprecedented state investments in public education and related systems.  Through the Youth Thriving Through Learning Fund we seek to create the opportunities for more California adolescents to be prepared for and actively pursuing their goals for college, career, and civic life. 

The Stuart Foundation, the California Community Foundation, and other Fund partners share a commitment to advancing equitable public education systems that provide young people – particularly those furthest from opportunity – with the conditions, climate, opportunities, and supports they need to succeed and thrive.  The Funds are timed to leverage significant equity-focused investments in California and to respond to the increasingly polarized education debates in many communities by offering an informed, positive vision for our public education system. 

Activities carried out via the Funds include strategic grantmaking, convening partners, narrative and storytelling, and collective learning from innovations that can shape systems-level transformations. 

We invite additional aligned funding partners and donors to join this collective effort to support the learning, leadership, and well-being of adolescents in California and beyond.