Press Release

Press Release: Conrad Hilton Foundation Selects First Place for Youth for Grant in LA

Conrad Hilton Foundation Selects First Place for Youth for Multi-year grant to improve foster care in Los Angeles region

OAKLAND, CA – August 12, 2021 – Last month, among a list of distinguished grantees, the Conrad Hilton Foundation announced a three-year grant of $2.1 million to Oakland-based nonprofit  First Place for Youth to improve intensive case management around employment, education and parenting outcomes for foster youth in Los Angeles

“In our grantmaking, we support bold, transformative change by strengthening communities and dismantling systemic barriers,” said Peter Laugharn, president and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “In this spirit, we are proud to partner with these organizations in alignment with our evolving strategies, centering equity, and collaborating with communities to develop solutions.”

“We’re so grateful to the Conrad Hilton Foundation for this generous commitment to the needs of a nearly hidden population who need help transitioning to self-sufficient adult lives,” said Aila Malik, Interim CEO at First Place for Youth. “For 23 years, First Place has been one of the only providers to focus exclusively on these young adults and we’ve been collecting data, innovating and recommending systems change for even greater impact every step of the way. We appreciate this vote of confidence in our programs, and our methodology.”

Every year across the country, about 23,000 youth who have grown up in the foster care system turn 18, and about 1,400 of those young adults live in Los Angeles, one of the highest numbers of transition-age foster youth in the country.

At an age when all young people need guidance, encouragement and support, many foster youth must suddenly fend for themselves, alone or with diffuse supports that fail to address their individual needs. Despite many innovative state-funded programs for these young adults, the odds aren’t good: among California foster youth aging out of care, 40% will couch-surf, 34% will experience homelessness, and 25% will be arrested. Less than half will graduate from high school on time and only 5% will earn a bachelor’s degree.  (Courtney et al., 2016).

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority estimates that homelessness among young adults aged 18 to 24 rose 18.5%–from 4021 in 2019, to 4775 in 2020. Foster youth are disproportionately represented in this tally.

About First Place for Youth: Founded in 1998, First Place for Youth envisions a world in which involvement in the foster care system does not limit young people’s opportunity to thrive. Its mission is to support foster youth to build the comprehensive skills needed to make a successful transition to self-sufficiency and responsible adulthood. First Place provides evidence-based, results-driven direct services to more than 1,500 foster youth each year in six California counties—Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Solano—and through its My First Place™ Network with partner providers in Boston, New York City, Cincinnati, and Mississippi. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @FPFY and LinkedIn, or connect on Facebook.

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation – International hotelier Conrad N. Hilton established the grantmaking foundation that bears his name in 1944 to help people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage worldwide. Today, the work continues, concentrating on efforts to improve early childhood development outcomes, support older youth as they transition from foster care, ensure opportunity youth can access career pathways, prevent homelessness, identify solutions to safe water access, help integrate refugees into society and lift the work of Catholic sisters. Additionally, following selection by an independent, international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to an organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. The Foundation is one of the world’s largest, with $7.5 billion in assets. It has awarded grants to date totaling more than $2 billion, $207 million worldwide in 2020. Please visit for more information.


Grace Reddy
Chief Development Officer, First Place for Youth
510.272.0979 ext. 236

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