For youth exiting the foster care and juvenile justice system, the first year out of the system is the roughest yet the first year in college has the highest dropout rate across the board. Linkage to Education helps our students navigate through this most critical transition by providing peer support, help with textbooks and class information, on-campus guidance and promoting our youth's resiliency and ability to learn.


  • Turns former dropouts, foster youths and juvenile offenders into college students who are pursuing positive goals.
  • Improves college access, retention and graduation rates for system-based youth.
  • Improves economic status (i.e., the ability to climb the socioeconomic ladder and out of the cycle of poverty and health disparities.)
  • Improves personal outlook.


Building our community comes through building the lives of these individuals so that they can further their education, social and economic development. Alienation is not just psychological or individual problems but economic, social and community problems as well. There is a need to help marginalized youth who are exiting their respective systems, not to become marginalized adults. Linkage to Education follows an innovative medical (neuro) model to help our students on the road to wellness, self-actualization and success. Our mission: To connect, To engage, To inform, To support, To transform.

The outcomes for foster and probation youth exiting from institutional custody and care and reintegrating back into the community must be improved. Foster and probation youth are going through a multitude of transitions, especially as they make their passage into college (which is crucial for these youth to transcend issues of poverty and health disparities). However the missing link to successful social reintegration is looking at the impact of cognitive development on the adolescent brain of foster and probation youth. The most effective means for foundations, education, social services and criminal/juvenile justice systems to target these problems are to adopt or shift to neuro-based applications for those coming from marginalized backgrounds - otherwise we are just creating better educated probation and foster youth versus better integrated individuals.


  • 2007 “Judge Roger K. Warren Unity Award.” Honor by Sacramento juvenile justice agencies, education and courts.
  • Recognizes outstanding efforts to promote collaboration among public and private agencies serving children in Sacramento.
  • 2005 “Robert T. Matsui Community Service Award,” Sacramento Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration.
  • 2001 and 2007 “Outstanding Partnership Award” United Way California Capital Region.
  • 1996 JFK School of Government at Harvard University’s “Innovations in American Government” Semifinalist.
  • 1992 E. Kentucky University, Kentucky Justice Cabinet and National Juvenile Detention Association’s “National Juvenile Justice Award of Merit.”
  • 1992 California School Board Foundation’s “Golden Bell Award.”
  • 1991 Sacramento County Probation Department’s “Distinguished Service Award.”


Started in 1988 by founder Daren Maeda, Linkage to Education is a non-profit 501(c)(3). Along with our partners and donors, this program has helped literally thousands of foster and probation youth transition into college as well as employ former participants to become part of a growing shift in juvenile rehabilitation.