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Monday, October 25, 2021

NKY Chamber’s Regional Youth Leadership Program Receives $30,000 Grant

Regional Youth Leadership, a program hosted by the NKY Chamber, has earned a grant for $30,000 from the Papa John's Foundation for Building Community.

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Regional Youth Leadership (RYL) is proud to announce that The Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community has awarded $30,000 to the organization to support their work to bolster youth initiatives throughout Northern Kentucky.

A program of the NKY Chamber, RYL is a unique extra-curricular program that uses the community as a classroom, bringing the region’s young leaders together with local business and civic leaders to enhance the educational experience and complement academic classroom learning.

 RYL will use the Papa John’s Foundation grant to support several initiatives. These include:

  • Funding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. RYL students will have the opportunity to examine diversity within the context of each session day in which they participate. This will provide the opportunity to learn more about potential disparities within healthcare, law, the criminal justice system and/or economic development;
  • Students will be able to visit the Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanities Center at Union Terminal to further their leadership development skills and identify opportunities to be upstanders in their community;
  • RYL will be able to collaborate with partner organizations to incorporate elements of entrepreneurship into student programming. This includes learning about the entrepreneurship process from ideation to pitch, franchising and the relationship between entrepreneurship and economic development; and
  • The awarding of a need-based scholarship to a RYL program graduate to assist with their post-secondary endeavors.

"As we continue our work to build the future leaders of our region, developing and retaining our homegrown talent will remain an important aspect of that growth. With these funds, Regional Youth Leadership can showcase the ways in which our best and brightest can help shape that future and that their dreams are achievable here at home," said RYL Program Director Ann Marie Whelan. "We are grateful to the Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community for this support and applaud it for its continued commitment to the communities it serves."

Across the United States, The Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community is awarding nearly $1 million to more than 100 organizations whose work supports the Foundation’s focus areas – youth leadership and entrepreneurship, food security and food waste reduction.

Locally, Renaissance Covington's MORTAR Covington program and Northern Kentucky University’s (NKU) JumpStart program will share in the grant as the organizations collaborate on entrepreneurial programming for RYL students.

"These grants from The Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community are our latest effort to deliver on three of our company’s core values – People First, Do the Right Thing and Everyone Belongs," said Mike Hutmier, a Papa John’s Cincinnati franchisee and the co-op president. "The work of organizations that build and empower the next generation of leaders, fight hunger and reduce food waste is critical to our world’s future. We are proud to support the Regional Youth Leadership program which aligns with our goals of building healthier, stronger communities and creating new opportunities for the people who live in them."

Regional Youth Leadership serves the future workforce of our region, specifically high school juniors in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The experiential nature of RYL provides the opportunity for unique collaboration among a diverse group of students from the Tri-State region attending public, private, and home schools in urban, rural, and suburban areas.

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Inc., founded in 1969, is the leading business organization in Northern Kentucky with more than 1,600-member companies representing approximately 170,000 employees. More information is available on the NKY Chamber website.

Founded in 2019, The Papa John’s Foundation supports communities as they work together for equality, fairness, respect and opportunity for all. Through partnerships with leading national and local community organizations, The Papa John’s Foundation’s philanthropic approach focuses on Youth leadership and entrepreneurship, food security and food waste reduction.


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