"The CAYF is an extended family that works to develop a well rounded student into a professional working adult. They not only provide funding to assist those who may not have the means to go to college, but they stay in touch with you and connect with you during school and even after you graduate. They provide a plethora of programs to keep you grounded before you go to college like preparation courses in college algebra and college skills for success. During the college years, they have events and networking sessions to prepare you for life after college and they assist you with internships and summer programs. After you graduate, they encourage you to come and give back to future CAYF scholars by mentoring, shadowing, assisting with summer internships, teaching or being a part of the scholar selection process just to name a few. The CAYF has helped me by providing opportunities for me to give back. One of the key measurables that stood in my head when I won the scholarship was that they were committed to young people and that you should always give back. I do my best to give back by supporting CAYF events, tutoring, being a part of the scholar selection process and just being a role model to the many scholars. The CAYF was a group that believed in me even when I doubted they kept praying for me until I completed my degree(s). They helped me in immeasurable ways to pursue my goals and now I am walking in my season because of their great investment in me!" - Elois Burnett-Thomas, University of Detroit Mercy, 2000

About the Scholars Program

The core program of the Coleman Young Foundation (CAYF) is the Scholars Program that:

  • Awards college scholarships
  • Facilitates Scholars' success
  • Creates future leadership

CAYF scholarships are for $5,000 per year for four years of college. Thus, the total value of the award is up to $20,000 for the student who completes his or her degree.

CAYF has a proven history of successfully graduating students at a rate far exceeding state and national levels.  The 85-90% retention rate of the CAYF Scholar Program betters the average college retention rate by more than 30 points.

Since 1986, CAYF  has awarded more than four million dollars to more than four hundred students. Currently, the Foundation supports 26 Scholars enrolled in colleges and universities in Michigan and elsewhere in the nation.

During their undergraduate years, Scholars receive support and guidance from CAYF staff members who assist scholars with school and life challenges. Staff members work with Financial Aid officers and Academic Advisers on behalf of scholars who need assistance.

CAYF staff call and email Scholars at least twice a week. In addition, Scholars at Michigan universities attend dinners with CAYF staff and alumni who offer advice and encouragement. Scholars also receive assistance in finding summer jobs, applying to graduate school, and career planning.

During the summer before the freshman year, CAYF Scholars attend the Summer Enrichment Program.  This program is designed to ease the change from living at home to college life with all its challenges.

In return, Scholars are expected to give back to the Foundation by helping in the office and with CAYF events, and by improving their own community through volunteer and mentorship activities.



There is currently no upcoming application information in the database. Please check back soon for more information.

  • Current CAYF Scholars (L-R) Sterling Sherman and Lance Woods
  • CAYF Alumni (L-R) Louis Lawson and
  • Jalena Brooks
  • Eduardo Salas 2010 CAYF New Scholar
  • Jahnia Estwick 2010 CAYF New Scholar
  • Johnetta Williams 2010 CAYF New Scholar
  • Kathy  Almansoob 2010 CAYF New Scholar
  • Patricia Bynum 2010 CAYF New Scholar
  • Theresa Ford - 2010 CAYF New Scholar
  • 2010 CAYF College Graduate - Shahaan Smith

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