LEXINGTON, Ky. — A local organization is entering its 28th year supporting at-risk, under-served young people in central Kentucky.

Partners for Youth Foundation, Inc. hopes providing grant funding can help exemplify their mission of “promote positive youth development and to prevent juvenile delinquency through collaboration and capacity building.”

What You Need To Know

  • Partners for Youth Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1995

  • Former Lexington Mayor Pam Miller founded the youth organization

  • Partners for Youth Foundation, Inc. funds youth nonprofits through their Grassroots Grant Allocations Program

  • In 2022, 33 central Kentucky youth programs received funding

Partners for Youth Foundation, Inc. was founded after police shot and killed an 18-year-old African American in Oct. 1995. Last year, the Partners for the Youth Foundation, Inc. funded 33 central Kentucky youth programs. Including the Alpha League and Lexington Pride Center.

The foundation is directly funded by the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government and Toyota Manufacturing of Kentucky.

Young people sit in a circle for Alpha League, led by Lexington’s Christian Adair and funded by the Partners for Youth Foundation Grassroots Grant Allocations Program. (Partners for Youth Foundation, Inc.)

Hannah Brosnan, the executive director of the Partners for Youth Foundation, Inc. works directly with LaDonna Walker, the partnership coordinator. Brosnan says in 28 years the group’s Grassroots Grant Allocations Program has provided $2 million dollars to nearly 500 youth programs in Lexington.

“This program offers small grants of $750-$3,000 to small hands on grassroots programs that provide positive opportunities to at-risk or underserved youth,” said Brosnan.

Programs that serve young people in academic tutoring and mentoring, recreation and STEM programs are just a few examples of who can apply. Brosnan said the need for the foundation became clear after the 1994 shooting of Antonio Sullivan.

The unarmed 18-year-old Black man was shot and killed by a white police officer during an investigation, sparking a massive protest in downtown Lexington — according to The Washington Post.

The shooting sparked public outcry about the despair and lack of resources. 

“And so Partners for Youth was created to support youth in those segments of the city that they felt were forgotten,” said Brosnan.

As for Brosnan’s message for young people across central Kentucky, it’s simple—they want youth to be heard.

“We believe in you, and we’re here for you. What we’ve seen with our work at PFY is the incredible partnerships and the people and organizations who are all working every day to support youth and provide them with positive opportunities,” said Brosnan.

Opportunities that some young people maybe didn’t know were possible in Lexington. Partners for Youth Foundation, Inc. asks that all applicants for the Grassroots Grant Allocations Program be submitted through the mail or in person at their office at 162 East Main Street Suite 210. The deadline is Jan. 19.

A technical assistance session will be held for anyone who has questions about the funding process and filling out the application on Jan. 4. People can attend it from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Phoenix building at 101 East Vine Street in Lexington.