First Place for Youth 25th Anniversary Celebration

Wednesday, May 17, 2023
BLOC15, Oakland, CA

On May 17th, we celebrated 25 years of making more possible for foster youth ages 16-25!

The evening was full of captivating stories, moving performances, and reflections on 25 years of impact.

Thank you to all who have supported us in our mission to help foster youth build the skills they need to make a successful transition to self-sufficiency and responsible adulthood.


In 1998, First Place for Youth founders Amy Lemley and Deanne Pearn launched the First Place Fund when they were graduate students at the University of California at Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. The fund provided financial literacy education and one-time micro-loans to help former foster youth pay their first and last month’s rent. The program launched with four individuals – Michelle, Farvaz, Regina, and Anthony.

Twenty-five years later, First Place for Youth’s My First Place program and systems change initiatives address homelessness, workforce development, education, and equity throughout Northern and Southern California and select regions across the country. What started with four individuals has expanded into a national network of direct services and advocacy for older foster youth, with a focus on extended foster care. To date, we have provided housing and supportive services to more than 11,000 young people in California and tens of thousands more through our systems change efforts across the nation.


Thank you to our sponsors!


  • Jennifer Mathews Friedman and Abe Friedman
  • Parnassus


  • Nancy Heinen and Dennis DeBroeck
  • Anthony and Michelle Maggiore
  • Karen May and Keith Shultz
  • June and Andy Monach
  • Anna Stern


  • Carrie Busch
  • Chuck and Rebecca Daggs
  • Carol Rutlen Ezrati and Lester Ezrati
  • Kathleen Deery Design
  • NFP
  • Eileen Ruby
  • Ama Torrance
  • Daniel Ripley Catering
  • Morrison & Foerster Foundation


  • Adobe
  • PJT Partners


  • Golden State Warriors
  • Lindsey and Andrew Stein
  • Advent Properties, Inc.
  • Barbara and Jeffery Bennett
  • Tangerine Brigham
  • Laura and John Fisher
  • Funkadelicatessen/Susan Kuchinskas
  • Darryl Glass and Aaron Chan
  • Steven LaFrance and Todd Feeley
  • Lawrence Mathews and Brian Saliman
  • VLC
  • All Pacific Mortgage


  • Insperity
  • Bill and Renee Scherer
  • Lianne and Richard Campodonico
  • Crankstart Foundation
  • Michelle Ellison and Jim Eyer
  • Mike Fisch and Victoria Camelio
  • Jocelyne and Jason Gardner
  • Adi and Jerry Greenberg
  • Karim and Sophia Kassab
  • Lisa Kinoshita + Tom Baudendistel
  • Larry and Charlotte Langdon
  • Jacob Mathews
  • Thomas and Barbara Metcalf
  • Lisa and Ben Orlanski
  • Sheri Paulo and Vina Wilks
  • Lisa Sternlieb
  • Ariel Trost and Jesse Goldhammer
  • Melissa WIlliams
  • Jinelle and Frank Yien
  • Deborah Leland and John Hunter


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