April 12, 2004
Gardner Center receives $1 million gift to support youth development in Redwood City
By Lisa Trei
The John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities has received a $1 million gift from the trust of William V. Power to support its work with communities in promoting youth development and learning.
The gift will be used to endow the William V. and Ellen W. Power Community Youth Development Liaison. The position is currently held by Maria Fernandez, a staff member in the School of Education, who works with Redwood City schools to strengthen community support and involvement in developing solutions to problems facing youth. The center also employs staff liaisons in Oakland and the coastal area around Half Moon Bay.
The gift will be used to match a $5 million core grant the Atlantic Philanthropies gave to the center in 2002 that is contingent on raising $5.3 million by 2006. So far, taking into account the gift from Power's estate, the center has raised $4.7 million, said Director Cheryl Zando. Power, a philanthropist who lived in Portola Valley, died last August.
The Gardner center was established in 2000 with the goal of bringing diverse parts of society together to address problems facing the nation's youth. Its namesake, John W. Gardner, a longtime social activist who improved the lives of millions of Americans by helping to implement the sweeping social reforms of the 1960s, died in 2002. Gardner, the founder of Common Cause, served as secretary of health, education and welfare during the Johnson administration. He also was president of the Carnegie Corporation and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.