Our Story, Our Mission

JCF officially starts in 2011

The goal: to make josephine county the best county in oregon

As a leading non-profit organization in Southern Oregon, Josephine County Foundation (JCF) provides leadership development and training for students in Josephine and Jackson Counties. JCF is a student led non-profit that inspires, engages and strengthens the community through innovative leadership and service.

JCF is born!

JCF was founded in 2011 by students and active members of the community, Frank Ault, Chris Pendleton, Dale Fisher, Joan Jones, Jacob Pendleton and Cedar Wilkening. The students were looking for a way to have a more hands on approach to helping, serving and supporting their community at large. The students realized there were members of their community that were in need and they wanted to find a way to give back.

It all started with a Vision Clinic. Dr. Wilkening and his team volunteered to partner with JCF and donate his time and services to provide free eye screenings and glasses to those in need in Josephine County. Since 2011, we have served over 1,000 members of our community with eye screenings and over 500 pairs of free glasses.

Mission • Vision • Purpose

Mission Statement

A student-led non-profit that inspires, engages, and strengthens the community through innovative leadership and service.


To transform Josephine County into a vibrant community in which every individual has the opportunity to be healthy, educated, and prosperous.


High school students of the Josephine County Youth Foundation (JCYF) use their energy and creativity to improve the social and economic well being of Josephine County. Working with local leaders, students identify community needs and perform service projects to address those needs. JCYF students learn valuable leadership and teamwork skills by managing their service projects, operating a non-profit business, and raising funds for their projects. Through JCYF, students are becoming an experienced generation of philanthropists with a lifelong commitment to the community.

The Impact

Improve the Health and Well-being of All Residents

Vision ClinicIt is clear from the start of JCF, the students want to be actively involved in community service projects. The first free vision clinic in December 2011 ignited the fire in the students because they saw all the good they did to improve the eyesight of some of the neediest residents in our County. The gift of clear vision enhances the quality of life for not only for the individual receiving the eye glasses, but all those who they interact with from family members to friends to employers.

“Through Amigo Vision, I have had the privilege of working with JCF students to conduct a number of free Vision Clinics to help our community members improve their lives by giving them the gift of better eyesight.” Dr. Kurt Wilkening, Optometrist

JCF has now held six free vision clinics as well as a dental/health clinic and “Pink Week” to increase awareness of breast cancer and to provide free mammograms to at risk women who cannot afford the test. This program was done at several local schools in both Josephine and Jackson counties. The well-being of all residents is not just related to health issues. JCF students do their Day of Service project where they recruit other students to join them in doing small projects to help clean up areas, paint homes, etc. One such project was building a path at a park in the county so those in wheelchairs could enjoy the beauty of the park.

Unleash the Potential of Young Leaders

JCF is not just benefitting the community by carrying out projects and giving grants; it is creating a community of young adults with a mindset of transforming the community with leaders who make it a lifestyle to serve. JCF is developing future philanthropists who have a lifelong focus on giving back to their community.

JCF students have held community meetings with business, political and community leaders to discuss needs and solutions to help revitalize Josephine County. These sessions have created more energy throughout the community in solving existing challenges. This is accomplished through meetings, actions (community service projects) and communicating with the public via the media and discussing with service clubs and other groups.

“JCF students have been interviewed on live television at my station many times. They are impressive and are among the most polished people I have seen on live TV”, Bob Wise, KOBI general manager.

Strengthen Existing Non-Profits

Josephine County is blessed to have many valuable non-profits who have existed for years serving the needs of our community. It is important to strengthen these entities so they can flourish and continue to increase the level of service they provide. JCF students have been working to accomplish this in two ways.

First, they volunteer their time and recruit other students to assist them in working on projects with existing non-profits.

Second, they have raised and provided funds to help finance the operation of these non-profits. This fundraising is often incorporated in various projects they do such as the Business Academy and the National FBLA competition, as well as direct funding raising for certain projects.

Assist Organizations in Community Functions

JCF is also pleased to support local businesses and organizations by helping staff their events whenever possible given their school-related schedules. A few examples of events the students supported include: serving breakfast to cyclists and carrying luggage for Cycle Oregon; acting as hosts and hostesses at the opening of People’s Bank’s new headquarters in Grants Pass; staffing an education booth at the Healthy Food Fair; acted as waiters for Hellgate’s Ladies Night Out event; and assisting the Grants Pass Museum of Art in its Black, White and the Blues fundraising event.

“I’m continually amazed by what the JCF students can do and the difference they make in our community.” Hyla Lipson, Community Leader.

The Community

A relationship to work together!

The Josephine County Foundation (JCF) has formed a partnership with the Community to work together to improve the social and economic well being of all residents, increase the quality of life, and make the Community more vibrant.


JCF Mission: Resources, People, Service Projects, Lifelong LeadersCommunity leaders provide JCF with ideas about the needs of the Community and resources in the form of volunteers, material, and funding for service projects. JCYF provides a lasting benefit to the Community as a result of their service projects which impact individuals and the Community at large.


The Community enables JCYF to succeed by supporting our efforts, spreading the word about what we accomplish and partnering to make service projects successful. JCYF students provide energy and creative solutions to address community issues through their service projects.

Service Projects

Service Projects are provided by JCYF to benefit the community’s health, education, and employment rates. These projects enhance the quality of life of their target audience but also benefit the students who organized them, giving them significant service, leadership, and team-building experience.

Lifelong Leaders

The students learn valuable skills from being involved with this foundation. Being a part of a nonprofit organization at such a young age and having the ability to impact the Community today leads to the development of our future leaders and philanthropists, serving for a lifetime.

Want More?

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JCYF Services