In 2001, while serving as the Publisher of the East Bay Business Times, Vintage Foster founded the East Bay Leadership Foundation on the premise that talented, disadvantaged youth needed the opportunity and support to achieve a better life through education. He believed that by inspiring and supporting motivated students who would otherwise lack the access or means to enjoy a college education, doors for greater opportunities would be opened for these individuals. Foster also emphasized the importance of involving business, community, and educational leaders. Read more about Foster’s inspiration for BALF here.
Since its inception, BALF has grown to include students from Oakland, Pittsburg, Richmond, Vallejo, and San Jose school districts. When, in 2007, the East Union School District in San Jose became part of the organization’s service area, the organization changed its name to the Bay Area Leadership Foundation.
In late 2013, BALF concluded its workshop program for high school seniors, returning to its founding purpose to provide scholarships and mentoring. It is now an all-volunteer organization governed by a small, dedicated board.