Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program®
Lincoln Foundation’s signature college readiness program serves the needs of academically talented, socioeconomically disadvantaged students in grades eight through college.
How to Become a Whitney M. YOUNG Scholar
The Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program® (WYSP) application window is now closed for the 2023-2024 academic year. Applications are being reviewed, and accepted students will receive notification in May 2023.
Lincoln Foundation’s signature college readiness program serves the needs of academically talented, socioeconomically disadvantaged students in grades eight through college. The goal of the program is to empower students toward academic achievement and college graduation.
The Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program® annually admits high potential youth from under-resourced communities throughout the Louisville area. Students commit to participating in experiential Saturday morning and summer programs that prepare them academically, socially, and emotionally for high school graduation and the rigors of college.
- Students must be entering the 8th or 9th grade
- Must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher
- 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, ACT preparation, and college readiness. Clinics are held at local area colleges and educational venues 18 Saturdays during the academic year.
Summer Institutes 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 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 nine Saturdays 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 $85,232 per year in scholarships over the past five years.
Proven Track Record
- $14.5 million in scholarship awards for the Class of 2021 (76 students)
- $2.8 million in scholarship awards for the Class of 2020 (31 students)
- $5.5 million in scholarship awards for the Class of 2019 (46 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.
Program Information & Application
Applications to the Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program® are accepted annually from eligible students in the 8th grade. Acceptance is contingent upon selection criteria & availability. You must have a parental account before you can apply.
Before you apply, make sure to have the following:
- Your Jefferson County student ID number.
- The name and email of your assigned assistant principal or academic counselor.