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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?
    Annually, the Conrad Prebys Foundation will name 5 leaders with a track record of building a spirit of equity and belonging in San Diego in the spaces of visual and performing arts, youth success, medical research, and healthcare. The 5 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?
    We are launching the nomination process in June and aiming to review all candidates and make a final selection by early December.
  • What are the selection criteria?
    Any resident of San Diego County can be nominated. Those selected for the award will be chosen 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,” 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.
  • What is the timeline for the process?
    June 29: Nomination process opens to the public July 21: Nomination process closes August 1: Jury begins its review December 10: Awardees announced
  • How do I nominate someone?
    Nominators are asked to complete the nomination form for each individual they wish to nominate. We ask for the nominator’s name to allow us to follow up should we have questions regarding a nominee. Additionally, to ensure the nominee pool is equitable, and inclusive of San Diego’s diversity – we ask for the nominee's demographic information. This is not a formal part of the rubric but helps to ensure the grantees reflect all of us. If you do not know the candidate's demographic information, it is ok to mark “I do not know.” It will not count against the candidate. Additional Notes: The nomination form focuses on the quality and impact of the nominees and their PAST work and on the likely benefits of the award to the recipient. We ask nominators to suggest the names of others who can provide independent evaluations of the nominees.
  • May I submit nominees?
    We welcome nominations from anyone well acquainted with the nominated leader who can describe the leader’s alignment with the award criteria and tell the story of how their work has been impactful.
  • May I nominate more than one leader?
    Yes! Nominators may nominate as many eligible leaders as they would like.
  • Can I nominate someone post-humously?
    No. The awards are designed to provide an opportunity for recipients who are policymakers and others in their field about the solutions they have implemented, thereby expanding the number of Californians who benefit from their work.
  • Is it possible to receive feedback on my nomination if it was not selected?
    We are unable to offer individual feedback on nominations. We encourage folks to re-nominate or reapply next year if not selected. There is so much talent in this region, and anticipate there will be many worthy nominees.
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