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Dear: Scholar Community/Prospective Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars/Parents/School Representatives…

During these unprecedented times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations of all types are faced with making critical shifts in the services they provide.  Lincoln Foundation is no exception.  All of our programs have been impacted as we operate remotely under the current quarantine and social distancing guidelines. We recognize this is also having an adverse effect on the youth we serve.

Our concern for our Scholars, especially those currently in the 12th grade (Phase 25) grows as their senior year experiences have been negatively impacted. Most will not be able to participate in the usual rites of passage that include a prom, a senior class trip, a yearbook or even a commencement ceremony. More importantly, the learning that takes place in the spring semester is impacted as schools convert to a virtual learning platform. These events coupled with the overall concern for the successful transition of high school seniors to college freshmen has forced us to rethink our programming. Additionally, we have similar concerns about how the lost classroom time will negatively impact the current high school junior class (Phase 26). 

It is because of these concerns that Lincoln Foundation has made the critical decision to redesign the signature Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program®.  The Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program® will now be a 6-year program providing programming for students in grades 8 through the college freshman year. These changes are being made after much deliberation and discussions with our college and university partners.  This pivot will provide mentoring, coaching and support for entering college freshmen at a level we could not otherwise provide.

This change also means that Lincoln Foundation will not admit any new students this year as the 7th grade programming will be eliminated.  We will resume the usual enrollment process for rising 8th graders in January 2021.  The 7th grade Science curriculum and the 8th grade Math curriculum will be merged into a new and rigorous STEM focus.  Enhancements are being made to the curriculum of each grade level to ensure Scholars achieve continued success in high school and beyond.

We realize this is a significant change in the 30-year history of the Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program®.  However, it is a necessary one to adequately address the needs of students during this difficult and challenging time.


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Marshall Bradley

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Lincoln Foundation and UofL’s College of Business Collaborate on Virtual Class Offering that is a Big Win for Students

While virtual learning has its challenges, Lincoln Foundation, in partnership with the University of Louisville College of Business, has created a truly value-added program for students.  Since 1986, the two organizations have offered a summer program called Project BUILD (Business United ILeadership Development) to address the shortage of persons of color entering business fields. The summer mini MBA program introduces promising multicultural high school juniors and seniors introduces promising multicultural high school juniors and seniors to the world of business through college-level business courses in accounting, economics, finance, statistics, entrepreneurship, management, and marketing. 

Lincoln Foundation and the College of Business realized the Covid-19 However, the Covid-19 pandemic created the need for schools and educational outlets to pivot to online learning.  The two organizations invested many hours redesigning the traditional in-class curriculum into a challenging new online experience.  The result is a virtual Project BUILD called “It’s All About Business.” The new program includes design and futuristic thinking elements to empower students with new skills to approach a challenge or solve complex problems.  

Students will also engage in three live town hall meetings with community leaders, including Nikki Lanier, Sr. Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Walter Woods, CEO Humana Foundation, and Chuck Denny, Regional President, PNC Bank. The program’s overall goal is to encourage students to study business in college and pursue a career in business.  

Whitney M. YOUNG Scholar Yacine Diop

What’s in it for the students? For starters, the course is offered entirely free of charge. Participants who complete the program will earn three hours of college credit in MGMT 101 and will earn an IBM badge in Design Thinking, an important credential students may add to their resume.  High school senior Yacine Diop, who is enrolled in this summer’s program, says she welcomes the changes. “Project BUILD has given us high school students a remarkable opportunity to meet with amazing business leaders in our community. Additionally, we have been given the wonderful chance to be taught by amazing professors and receive college credit for the lessons in business that our group learns. Although the pandemic has prevented the in-person sessions from occurring, the virtual town halls and online classes have been very effective alternatives because we are still able to receive insightful business knowledge from various parties.  It’s such a rewarding experience and I’m so honored that I have been given the opportunity to participate!”

Project BUILD “It’s All About Business” is in session through Friday, August 7, 2020.


Lincoln Foundation Recipient of More than $100,000 in Grant Awards

Lincoln Foundation is the proud recipient of over $100,000 in grants awards over the past 60 days.   The awards provide support for its educational enrichment programs and will shore up the organization’s technology infrastructure.

The largest grant comes from The Gheens Foundation in support of the signature Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program®.  The college preparatory program empowers high achieving underserved youth through a wrap-around six-year program focusing upon academic achievement and ultimately college graduation.  The Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program®, which has a proven track record of success, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.  Currently, over 150 Scholars are enrolled in accredited colleges or universities. Scholars have earned over 445 undergraduate and graduate degrees since 2000.

Lincoln Foundation was recently awarded a grant from the LG&E and KU Foundation. This grant supports the summer Math & Science Program, which is one of the organization’s oldest programs.  The Math & Science Program is open to students throughout Jefferson County.  It focuses on STEM education.  Applications for both the Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program® and Math & Science Program are currently being accepted. A portion of the LG&E grant will also support Lincoln Foundation’s signature fundraiser which will be held in August to commemorate the anniversary of the Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program®.

Finally, Lincoln Foundation is grateful to be one of 24 organizations to receive a capacity building grant from the Community Foundation of Louisville’s Fund for Louisville Grant.  The capacity building grant will be used to purchase new computers for the staff and a multifunction copier.


Lincoln Foundation Salutes Ms. Faye D. Owens Upon Her Retirement

Ms. Faye Owens seated next to Whitney M. YOUNG Scholar alum Kendrick Quisenberry during her retirement luncheon.

Ms. Faye Owens has officially retired from Lincoln Foundation after devoting 20 years of dedication towards the education of deserving youth in our community.  Lincoln Foundation staff held a special luncheon to honor Ms. Owens on her last day.  Faye D. Owens began working for Lincoln Foundation in 2000 after an illustrious career at Jefferson County Public Schools.  She was hired by Dr. Samuel Robinson, President Emeritus, as the Director of the Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program®.  She then advanced to Director Educational Programs as she led the educational initiatives for Lincoln Foundation.  In 2012, she semi-retired as Director and became the Scholar Advocate, providing one-on-one mentoring to Scholars as they pursued academic excellence.

During her tenure, 847 Scholars graduated from high school and 446 Scholars graduated from college.  This is a testimony of Ms. Owens’ exemplary leadership and passion for young people that will live on for generations to come.  Please join the Lincoln Foundation staff, Board of Trustees and our deserving students in wishing Ms. Owens a happy and well-deserved retirement.

Lincoln Foundation is accepting gifts to the Faye McBride Owens & Ina Hall Scholarship to honor Ms. Owens.  To donate, click here.



Louisville, KY March 15, 2019 – Lincoln Foundation Board of Trustees announces the retirement of President Larry M. McDonald from Lincoln Foundation. McDonald served the organization as a volunteer beginning in 1985 and became a trustee in 1997.  McDonald assumed the president role in 2001, transitioning from the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. Lincoln Foundation’s mission is to provide educational enrichment programs that develop and support youth in overcoming barriers to achievement. The signature Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program® was founded by Dr. Samuel Robinson, President Emeritus. McDonald leaves Lincoln Foundation with an exemplary track record of expanding the Scholars Program, doubling the net assets, growing investment/endowment assets, and facilitating educational programs that have enabled thousands of students to become self-sufficient by obtaining their high school and college education.   His leadership enabled the renovation of the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Birthplace, a National Historic Landmark, and Lincoln Institute Alumni Center on the historic campus in Simpsonville, Kentucky.

McDonald indicated to Lincoln Foundation’s Board of Trustees his retirement timeline several years ago.  Trustees developed a succession plan in 2018 and facilitated a national search for the next president. 

The Board of Trustees is pleased to introduce Marshall Bradley, Jr., as Lincoln Foundation’s next President effective April 1, 2019.  Bradley comes to Lincoln Foundation after serving as Senior Vice President for Old National Bank since 2006 and on the bank’s foundation board investment and grants committees.  Prior to Old National Bank, Marshall was Senior Vice President with both Chase (formerly Liberty) Bank and National City Bank.  

Marshall Bradley has extensive civic leadership experience having served four terms on Lincoln Foundation’s Board of Trustees, including serving as treasurer. Most recently he has served in an ad hoc capacity on the foundation’s finance committee and as a co-chair of the capital campaign committee.  Bradley also has been involved with the Community Foundation of Louisville where he served as board chair, and he currently serves as treasurer of the St. Matthews Fire District Board. Marshall served as board chair at Meredith-Dunn School and was a member of the Portland Neighborhood House and Walden Theatre boards. Marshall Bradley is a native of Louisville and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and MBA from Bellarmine University.

“The Board of Trustees believes that Marshall’s long affiliation with the Lincoln Foundation and his excellent business background make Bradley the right person to follow Larry’s exemplary leadership,” says Board Chair Daryl Williams.  Larry McDonald stated, “It has been my honor and privilege to serve as the leader of this great organization. I am pleased to pass the torch to Marshall who will lead Lincoln Foundation to the next level on behalf of our very deserving youth.”

McDonald will remain with Lincoln Foundation, for the time required, to ensure a smooth transition.


Thanks to the generosity of Kentucky Senator Gerald Neal and his wife, Kathy Cooksie Neal, a group of approximately 77 Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars had the opportunity to see Black Panther on March 3rd. “Gerald and I saw the movie opening weekend and found it to be fantastic,” said Cooksie Neal.”There are so many positive messages in the movie, we decided to help ensure kids who might not be able to afford the movie got the chance to see it.”

The Neals are superheroes in the eyes of the Scholars who expressed their enthusiastic thanks moments before the movie began. Scholars will discuss the significance of the movie and how to carry the positive messages in their own lives at a future Educational Clinic.


Tribute Event to Honor Hometown Jazz Great, Lionel Hampton

LOUISVILLE, KY – Lincoln Foundation in partnership with Dick Sisto, Ken Clay, Owsley Brown III, Louisville Public Media, Owsley Brown II Family Foundation, The Kentucky Center, Mike Balter Mallets and Vandoren Saxophone Reeds proudly announces the First, Annual Lionel Hampton Tribute Concert Showcase. The event will take place in the Bomhard Theater of the Kentucky Center on Saturday Oct. 7.

Dick Sisto, on vibraphone, is the artistic and music director who will lead a group of featured jazz artists who will pay tribute to jazz greats past and present.  They include Barry Ries, trumpet (Lionel Hampton); Bobby Broom, guitar (Sonny Rollins); Bobby Floyd, keyboards (Count Basie); Jim Anderson, bass (Benny Golson); Art Gore, drums (George Benson) and special guest Harry Skoler, clarinet (Berklee College of Music).

Louisville native Lionel Hampton was born on April 20, 1908. He popularized the vibraphone and played with the Benny Goodman Quartet before becoming a successful bandleader. Hampton received honors from Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He performed well into his 90s before passing away in 2002.

Mayor Greg Fischer and the city of Louisville have embraced this event and hope to honor this hometown jazz great and innovator with an official Lionel Hampton dedication day. The event will also feature a showcase of young percussion students on the vibraphone and drums.  A music scholarship will be considered for one of the participating youth.

Schedule and ticket information for the Lionel Hampton Tribute Concert Showcase will be announced later this summer. Proceeds from the event will benefit Lincoln Foundation’s signature Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program®.

Lincoln Foundation has empowered disadvantaged youth to overcome adversity through education since its inception by Berea College over 100 years ago. The mission of the organization is to provide educational enrichment programs that develop and support youth in overcoming barriers to achievement. Lincoln Foundation outcomes demonstrate that students can break the cycle of poverty in their families through higher education. Students are holistically developed in an educational culture that stresses academic achievement and graduation from college.  Lincoln Foundation annually serves approximately 600 students from two years of age through college with its year-round, nontraditional educational enrichment programs.


Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Attend Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards

Congratulations Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars for being chosen to attend the inaugural Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards last night! That’s right – 40 Scholars from grades 7-12 dressed to the nines to witness Christina Aguilera, Michael Bolton, Chip Carter (for his father the former President Jimmy Carter), and Louisville’s adopted son, Mark Hogg, of WaterStep, received the top awards. What an honor and thrill it was for the Scholars to be invited. We are so proud of them!



Phase 14 Whitney M. YOUNG Scholar Wins National Poster Contest

Lincoln Foundation congratulates Whitney M. YOUNG Scholar Jose Soto-Hernandez for winning the 2012 International Graphic Arts Education Association (IGAEA) student poster design competition.  Jose, a Phase 14 Scholar, is a senior in the Graphic Communications Management Program at Eastern Kentucky University.  For more information, please visit http://www.technology.eku.edu/insidelook/eku-senior-wins-national-poster-design-award.


Whitney M. YOUNG Scholar Dominique Luster Named 2013 Derby Princess

Congratulations to Phase 15 Whitney M. YOUNG Scholar Dominique Luster who was named a 2013 Derby Princess. For more information please visit the following link to the Courier-Journal:  The Royal Buzz – 2013 Derby Princesses.