Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2016

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Transylvania University has received a $71,000 grant from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust for the Pioneer Pathway Program, which prepares young black males for success in college preparation and completion. Mentorship is at the heart of this program for both the high school and undergraduate participants.

The grant will help fund activities including Transylvania’s College Empowerment Program for high school students, and professional development and community leadership seminars.

The Pioneer Pathway Program is part of Project One, a campus-wide diversity and inclusion initiative.

"Transylvania views education as the gateway to a life of increasing freedom to choose one’s own life path,” President Seamus Carey said. “We recognize that many people in society have different starting points towards this path. In particular, young men of color often face significant obstacles that must be addressed and overcome in order for them to take advantage of the educational path. Transylvania is committed to doing all that we can to create the conditions in which young men of color can thrive."

This funding from the Kenan Trust in Chapel Hill, N.C., is part of nearly $3 million in grants for black males in Kentucky. Locally, this money also will go to groups such as the Fayette County Fatherhood Initiative at the Lexington Leadership Foundation, Fayette County Public Schools and the United Way of the Bluegrass.

"We chose to partner with organizations and leaders throughout the state of Kentucky that were committed to systems-level change for males of color with an emphasis on African-American men and boys," said Dorian Burton, assistant executive director of the Kenan Trust. "The group of leaders we have funded will work to connect the dots within their communities and neighborhoods and partner with other innovative organizations committed to uplifting and building strong families within their communities."