Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program®

Program Overview

Lincoln Foundation’s signature educational program serves the needs of academically talented, socioeconomically disadvantaged students in grades 7-12. The goal of the program is to empower students toward academic achievement and college graduation.

The Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program® annually admits academically motivated seventh-grade students in the Louisville Metro area and over a six-year period prepares them for high school graduation and college. Eligible students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and qualify for free or reduced lunch.


Gheens Foundation Educational Clinics are designed to develop and enhance Scholar skills in science, mathematics, writing and language development, oration and presentation (Shakespeare and conflict resolution), ACT preparation, and college readiness. Clinics are held at local area colleges and educational venues on the first and third Saturday of the month from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. during the academic year.

Summer Institutes for grades 10-12 allow Scholars to spend two weeks on a college/university campus. This academic and residential experience prepares them for their upcoming school year and future college life. Summer educational programs for grades 7-9 prepare Scholars for future courses in math, science, and technology.

Parental Institutes help parents become better advocates for their Scholars. Seminars address financial literacy and planning, adolescent behavior, conflict resolution, stress management, leadership development, understanding test scores, and how to select the best school. Meetings are held on the third Saturday of the month from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. during the academic year.

College & Beyond

Lincoln Foundation assists Scholars and their families in identifying and obtaining financial aid for post-secondary education. Guidance and scholarship assistance continue throughout the Scholars’ college years.  Scholars receive scholarships each college semester as an incentive for continued academic achievement. Lincoln Foundation has awarded an average of $64,025 per year in scholarships over the past five years.

Proven Track Record

  • $5.1 million scholarship awards for Class of 2019 (46 students)
  • $6.5 million scholarship awards for Class of 2018 (39 students)
  • $2.7 million scholarship awards for Class of 2017 (33 students)
  • $5.7 million scholarship awards for Class of 2016 (34 students)
  • 100% annual high school graduation
  • 150+ Scholars currently enrolled at accredited colleges or universities


The Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program® was created in 1990 by Dr. Samuel Robinson, President Emeritus. The program was named for Dr. Whitney M. Young, Sr., graduate and first African American President of the Lincoln Institute, and his son Dr. Whitney M. Young, Jr. noted educator, statesman, and human rights advocate. The acronym YOUNG stands for Youth Organized to Understand New Goals.

Click here to view Dr. Samuel Robinson Award Recipients


Applications are accepted annually from eligible students in grades 6-9 from January-March. Acceptance is contingent upon selection criteria & availability.

Please click here to apply – 2020-2021  Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program® Application.*

Program Information & Application

Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program® Tutoring Request Form

Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program® Information Update Form

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