The "Uplift Our Youth Foundation" originated from a vision of Larry L. Leatherwood, Founder/Chairperson in consultation with Paulette Granberry Russell, who served as the first vice-chairperson. Larry has spent many years volunteering in organizations/agencies in Lansing that serve youth. From those experiences, Larry recognized that there was a need by those organizations and others for funds to either create new programs or to expand or maintain existing ones that focused in on "At Risk Youth"..
Started in 2002 as a component of the Capital Region Community foundation, the "Uplift Our Youth Fund" has awarded grants to several community based organizations/agencies that have been able to provide programs that benefit youth. Now incorporated as a separate, nonprofit organization, the Uplift Our Youth Foundation has its own tax-exempt status.
From the beginning, the Uplift Our Youth Fund - and now the Uplift Our Youth Foundation - has benefited from the support of many community leaders in the Lansing area. Our twenty one member Board of Directors represent a cross-section of our community, including business, academia, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.