What drives us
Our Mission

To engage a caring community to help transition age foster youth achieve self-sufficiency and well-being.

Essential Need

Foster youth are placed in a System because of circumstances beyond their control and often leave it feeling Unsure, Unprepared and Disconnected.

The Just in Time

When transition age youth (18-26) leave the System, Just in Time invites them to join a reliable Community that helps them become Confident, Capable and Connected.

Our Aspirational

Just in Time for Foster Youth envisions a future in which every youth leaving the foster care system has access to a Community of caring adults after 18. We believe consistent, long-term help from the heart is the foundation for the success of our youth so they can thrive and enjoy productive, satisfying lives.

JIT Core Values

We are open, honest and courageous, practicing confident vulnerability even in difficult circumstances.

We think outside the box to find the WIN-WIN outcome together and achieve the best solution for all involved.

We embrace all people with compassion, honoring their value and celebrating their unique identities. I matter, you matter.

We adjust to new challenges and constant change, finding creative ways to support continuous growth and improvement.

We seek to understand first and ask powerful questions to discover what is truly needed.

We engage in a way that inspires our youth, volunteers and our community to reach their full potential.

We hold ourselves accountable and consistently follow through on our words, actions, promises and commitments.


A Brief History


The Just in Time for Foster Youth (JIT) story began in 2002. For years, San Diego child advocacy attorney Jeanette Day witnessed a tragic transition that most people don’t even know exists – foster youth leaving the Juvenile Court system without essential family support. Wanting to help ease the transition, she enlisted the help of Diane Cox to create holiday gift baskets for youth who had emancipated from foster care with little or no family to count on.


Invigorated and moved personally by the fighting spirit and serious challenges faced by these youth, Jeanette and Diane then reached out to Louarn Sorkin. This small but mighty team of San Diego women led a charge to do more by recruiting and organizing volunteers to provide even more community support for this under-served population here in San Diego County.

The following year (2003) Just in Time was born, at first as an auxiliary of the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation (now known as Promises2Kids).


A major turning point occurred in 2004 when Kathryn Vaughn became Just in Time’s president. Kathryn was so inspired by the courage of these transition age foster youth that a simple but visionary goal was set forth: to create a dynamic, independent and sustainable organization that would have the capacity to assist hundreds of youth each year.


Soon after, Tony Hsu joined the group as treasurer, establishing a financial foundation for the organization and working to obtain its 501(c)3 nonprofit status, effective July 2006 (JIT nonprofit tax EIN#: 20-5448416). As it grew, Just in Time retained the commitment and collaborative spirit that defined its earliest beginnings: that every youth leaving the foster care system would have a community of caring adults waiting for them after 18 so they can thrive and enjoy productive and satisfying lives.


Just in Time for Foster Youth has 501(3)(c) status. (TAX ID# 20-5448416)

We understand it’s important to know your investment in Just in Time is used efficiently and successfully. That’s why we’re committed to sharing financial statements that accurately reflect the costs of providing our transformative services to the population we serve.

Just in Time received the 2019 Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, showing we believe our supporters deserve a clear picture of the resources needed to produce outcomes that change lives… one youth at a time.

Our Annual Report

The work we’ve accomplished together is reflected in the pages of this year’s Annual Gratitude Report, a look back at an inspiring series of accomplishments that go even higher than we could have imagined in a time when the only certainty was the strength and resilience of our community.

Inside, you’ll find stories of youth whose exceptional resourcefulness and courage motivate us every day. You’ll also see powerful evidence of how a commitment of over 5,000 volunteer hours, more than 150 collaborations and hundreds of dedicated investors empowered 1,588 young people in transition to become Confident, Capable and Connected!

We’ll also share an update on the lives of eight JIT alumni to illustrate the power of our LIFT (Lasting Impact Fulfillment Tracking) project. This empowering information connects us to past JIT participants (ages 27-35) to explore the significant and durable effects of our community-driven model so we can continue to Empower effectively in the years to come.

*Request a hard copy of our annual report by sending your mailing address to with the subject line “Annual Report”.

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