The John W. Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities is situated in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Named for the prolific thinker, innovator, and activist John W. Gardner, the center was founded in 2000 by Milbrey McLaughlin as an expression of Gardner’s vision for vibrant civic participation and civic life. At the heart of this vision is a call to ensure that we create the systems, settings, and supports that young people - including and especially those who are most vulnerable - need to develop the skills, knowledge, habits, and relationships that facilitate their full participation in civic life. Out of this vision, and in response to this call, the Gardner Center conducts research in partnership with others, and in so doing, builds our collective capacity to promote positive and equitable youth and community outcomes.
Housing Instability and Educational Outcomes of San Mateo County Youth
In San Mateo County, about 2,600 students experienced housing instability between 2016 and 2019, making them up to six times more likely to be chronically absent from school and four times more likely not to graduate high school.
John W. Gardner (1912-2002)
"John W. Gardner’s work and his vision were always about equality, justice, and the promise of human potential. He saw what so many people see as society’s insoluble problems as breathtaking opportunities. His vision for young people’s role in communities will live on through the work of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities."
Founding Faculty Director
View a Timeline of John W. Gardner's Life