LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thursday Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer was joined by local officials to discuss 2022 budget investments involving youth initiatives.
In a release, Fischer's office said funds from the budget will be invested in post-secondary education and workforce development.
“It is critical that we provide more pathways to create and foster opportunity for our youth because we know every young person deserves the chance to cultivate their talents and reach their full potential,” the mayor said.
This year's budget invests $3 million for Evolve502 Promise scholarships and doubles the budget for SummerWorks to $1 million. Additionally, funding for the city's Office of Youth Development will be doubled.
An expansion of $1 million will fund staffing for community outreach to meet the unique needs of youth between age 10 – 15, ensuring they and their support systems are connected to resources.
"The investment in OYD is an investment in creating opportunities to connect Louisville’s youth to recreational programs, services, and resources that help them achieve their goals," Office of Youth Development Development Systems Administrator Dr. Castle said.
The mayor highlighted the expansion of the newly launched Louisville Youth Network, one-stop shop for youth resources. The Youth Network has handled 256 referrals, and 99 youth have been assigned an Empowerment Navigator since May 2021.
An expansion of the Network will broaden its reach to connect with youth ages 10-24, and youth who are not among those traditionally tracked as disconnected, according to Fischer's office.
"Programs like the Louisville Youth Network are one way we can do that – intentionally connecting these young people to vital, beneficial resources based on their specific needs and desires, and not what the 'adults' think is best," President and CEO of the Louisville Urban League Sadiqa Reynolds said.