"To me the Coleman A. Young Foundation means opportunity and hope. Without the CAYF, I would not have been able to complete my college education without taking out an enormous amount of student loans. As a ward of the court, statistics did not way in my favor. CAYF was the only thing I had. Not only did the Foundation pay for my college education, it supported throughout my college years by celebrating my accomplishments and pairing me with my mentor, David Baker Lewis. Mr. Lewis always answered when I called and gave me honest advice. I have followed the Foundation's progress over the years and I am proud to be an alumna of such a diverse group of people and knowing that we all came from the same place makes it that much more of an honor." - Michelle Diana Busby, Michigan State University, 1993

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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