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Healthcare & Youth Workforce Initiative
Announced September 15, 2023
Application closes October 16, 2023
Image by Carlos Magno

The Conrad Prebys Foundation aims to invest in innovative, high-potential programs to increase collaboration in the healthcare workforce field.

To do this, the Conrad Prebys Foundation is launching the Healthcare & Youth Workforce Initiative, which will provide both one- and two-year grants ranging from $150K-$400K per year. Depending on the robustness of the response, we may consider extending this program in 2024 and funding additional programming next year. 


The healthcare workforce shortage has been well documented, with employee burnout and fewer new workers entering the field being major contributing factors. 


Through discussions with community leaders while launching the SHARE Initiative and during interviews for the Youth Success portfolio, we heard the need to expose youth to possibilities in healthcare, develop emerging professionals, and train those currently in the field to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse patient population.


It became clear that there is a critical need in San Diego for greater investments in the future of our healthcare workforce, specifically focused on:


  • Exposing, recruiting, expanding, and deepening high-quality job training, bridge, and certification programs that retain and create pathways for youth from historically marginalized communities to needed healthcare careers

  • Addressing some of the critical barriers to a more diverse, culturally competent, high-quality workforce, including reducing the disconnect between training programs and placements

How do I apply?

Click the button below to access the application.

Image by Rusty Watson

Is there a target population to serve?

Yes, youth between the ages of 16-26, who are part of the below populations, or at risk of being:

  • Opportunity Youth: Young people who are between the ages of 16 to 26 years old and are disconnected from school and work.

  • Overburdened Youth: Young individuals, primarily between the ages of 16 to 26 years old, who experience excessive physical, emotional, or psychological pressure beyond what is considered normal or healthy for their age. These pressures often arise from various sources, such as balancing academic demands, one or more jobs, caregiving and other familial responsibilities.

Who should apply?

Programs that include partnerships between:

  • Educational institutions that focus on 6- to 18-month healthcare programs and certifications

  • Community-based organizations that provide wrap-around workforce development services to youth ages 16-26

  • Healthcare providers such as hospitals and clinics that provide externship opportunities and hire these youth

How does this initiative fit within the foundation’s strategy?


In February 2023, the foundation launched its Strategic Learning Plan, and articulated a long-term vision for: 

  • Healthcare in San Diego: all San Diegans are mentally and physically healthy. 

    • San Diegans are trained for, and offered, quality jobs in healthcare, including community and behavioral health workers 

    • Excellent, culturally competent healthcare is accessible to, and in, underserved communities

    • Under-represented communities feel trust and safety with their health providers 

  • Youth Success in San Diego: All youth are thriving and engaged in the community 

    • San Diego providers have a shared vision for youth that advances belonging, opportunity, and purpose

    • Communities offer multiple opportunities for youth, including jobs, art, and civic engagement

    • Youth are mentally and physically healthy 

Read more about our strategy here.

  • What is the Leaders in Belonging Initiative?
    The inaugural recipients of the Leadership in Belonging Initiative work in a variety of areas that the Prebys Foundation has committed to supporting, including medical research, health care, youth success, and the visual and performing arts. The foundation, and its selection committee, is inspired by these leaders who are shaping the narrative around the type of leadership the region will need to meet the challenges of the years ahead. The initiative is designed to connect the foundation to a larger network of community expertise and knowledge. Prebys Foundation is dedicated to helping create an inclusive, equitable, and dynamic future for all San Diegans. The foundation believes that investing in and celebrating these leaders will strengthen their efforts and contribute to a more connected and welcoming region. Annually, Prebys Foundation will name five leaders with a track record of building a spirit of equity and belonging in San Diego in the fields of medical research, health care, youth success, and the arts. The five leaders chosen for the award will each receive $100,000 in unrestricted funding.
  • How does the Foundation define Belonging?
    We use the definition offered by the Othering and Belonging Institute, namely: “a world based on inclusion, fairness, justice, and care for the earth.” “The concept of belonging describes more than a feeling of inclusion or welcome. Its full power is as a strategic framework for addressing ongoing structural and systemic othering, made visible, for example, in the wide disparities in outcomes found across a variety of sectors and identity groups. Belonging, as OBI defines it, means having a meaningful voice and the opportunity to participate in the design of political, social, and cultural structures that shape one’s life — the right to both contribute and make demands upon society and political institutions. At its core, structural belonging holds a radically inclusive vision because it requires mutual power, access, and opportunity among all groups and individuals within a shared container (such as a society, organization, club, etc).”
  • When will the awardees be announced?
    Awardees for the 2023 cycle will be notified by December. They will be announced publicly in January of 2024.
  • What are the selection criteria?
    Any resident of San Diego County can be nominated. Awardees are selected based on the following criteria: Through work related to one or more of our four focus areas: visual and performing arts, healthcare, medical research, and youth success—the candidate embraces and advances a universal goal that would benefit our entire community. The candidate acknowledges and seeks to improve institutions, practices, or systems that get in the way of achieving that universal goal. The candidate offers solutions and a broadly inclusive vision for why those solutions are worth pursuing. As a leader, the candidate is adept at “bridging,” and connects with different parts of the community, is collaborative, and galvanizes others into action. The candidate has deep experience and expertise related to one or more of our focus areas. The candidate also has lived experience relevant to their work. The candidate’s story is inspiring, and the work they do will benefit from this recognition.
  • Who is on the Selection Committee?
    Selection committee members for the first cycle were: Constance Carroll President and CEO, California Community College Baccalaureate Association; Chancellor Emerita, San Diego Community College District; Prebys Foundation Board Member Irma Cota Immediate Past President & Chief Executive Officer, North County Health Services; Prebys Foundation Board Member Peter Ellsworth, Prebys Foundation Board Member Linda L. Katz, Civic/Social Activist Walter Lam President & Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for African Assistance David Miyashiro Superintendent, Cajon Valley Union School District Grant Oliphant Chief Executive Officer and Prebys Foundation Board Member Crystal Page Director of Communications, Prebys Foundation Staff Member
  • What is the timeline for the process?
    In May of 2023, the foundation invited the community to nominate leaders for consideration. The foundation received a total of 326 nominations. After an initial review by staff, a selection committee made up of members of the San Diego community as well as members of the Prebys Foundation staff and board selected the five awardees. These awardees will be announced in January of 2024.
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