In conjunction with the Tri-Valley Community Foundation, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Justice Academy is offering a paid six-month educational and vocational experience for Tri-Valley high school students aged 16-18.

Included in the educational topics covered are criminal justice, social justice, law and the court system. From there, the academy transitions into a work-experience opportunity during which students will be placed in justice-related summer jobs with Tri-Valley offices or organizations.

This is just one of the initiatives offered by the 29-year-old Tri-Valley Community Foundation (TVCF) whose mission is to strengthen the region’s communities through civic engagement and philanthropy.

“The Tri-Valley Community Foundation has served as an incubator of community-based organizations and as a ‘gap provider’ due to burgeoning needs especially with programs to benefit youth and families,” said TVCF President David Rice.

Serving the communities of Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, Sunol, San Ramon, Danville and Alamo, TVCF raises funds to meet human needs and support educational and cultural projects that enrich community life. The foundation’s focus is on vulnerable, underserved populations including at-risk youth, the elderly, the chronically ill, and low-income families.

By brokering collaborative partnerships – bringing together schools, service agencies, businesses, community and grassroots organizations, and local government – TVCF is able to identify and address complex needs within the region that cannot be met by the efforts of a single organization.

In grant-making, the foundation responds to five funding priorities that guide their mission.

For Youth Development and Education, TVCF strives to help youth make a successful transition into higher education or career-path jobs. It also funds leadership and civic engagement initiatives.

The year-round “Youth Employment Plus Program” provides an opportunity for more than 50 at-risk youths to access entry-level positions in diverse fields. Participants have the opportunity to acquire marketable skills, develop good habits and ethics, explore occupations, learn how to resolve work problems, and to serve the community.

“Chanelle Jones is really enjoying going through the program,” said parent Debbie Helene of the 17-year-old. “She feels it’s preparing her and giving her the skills that she’ll need in the work force. She’s so excited about having a real job and the responsibility of being an employee.

“It has given our daughter a renewed excitement and a positive outlook on life.”

With Strengthening Families, TVCF funds programs that form a safety net of support services that include parenting resources, counseling services, domestic violence prevention, substance abuse recovery, legal aid, and housing support. It also funds local services for special needs children and their families.

In the Assisting Seniors program, TVCF funds projects that support elder care, including senior day programs, home care services to support independent living, assisted-living housing solutions, legal assistance and family and caregiver support. For example, the foundation is helping by funding the development of a national iPhone application, currently only available in the San Ramon area. The app enables private citizens trained in CPR to respond faster than local fire or police departments, thereby saving precious minutes and the possibility of death or brain damage.

While providing Access to Healthcare and Healthy Living, the foundation funds approaches to bringing medical and dental care to the children and adults of the Tri-Valley who do not have access to healthcare. Further, it supports initiatives that promote healthy living and the prevention of lifestyle diseases, such as heart disease and obesity.

TVCF is helping the Garden of Grace, a vegetable-based community garden located at Asbury United Methodist Church in Livermore that supplies fresh produce for the needy, to identify corporate grants and contributors of organic supplies and materials.

By supporting Arts and Culture, the foundation promotes the education, creation, performing and enjoyment of the arts. Funds are donated to the Firehouse Arts Center and Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center. It focuses on the preservation and celebration of local history and the diverse cultures of our area.

Funds are generated through corporate contributions, county grants, and individual donations.

For more information, visit www.tvcfoundation.org.