In 2021, The Papa Johns Foundation for Building Community launched The Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community Fund, which empowers our restaurant team members and U.S. franchise partners to support the communities they serve by applying for grants on behalf of local organizations addressing one or more of the Foundation’s focus areas – youth leadership and entrepreneurship, food security and food waste reduction.
In its first year, the Building Community Fund provided nearly $1 million to more than 100 organizations based in 40 U.S. cities. Nominated by Papa Johns franchise partner KGK Enterprises, Inc., Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana (YR) received $10,000 to support their work in youth leadership and food security.
Supporting Young Leaders During the Pandemic
Over the past 35 years, Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana (YR) has worked with over 150,000 students and funded more than 3,300 service projects in the Evansville, Ind. area that empower youth to make a positive difference in our society through compassionate leadership and civic engagement.
Organizations like YR rely on community donations to keep their programs going, but donations dropped off during the pandemic. Their grant from the Papa Johns Foundation came to them at just the right time, helping the organization continue its services and relaunch the TEENPOWER program, which was able to hold its summer conference for the first time since 2019.
TEENPOWER is the only youth-led leadership development and substance abuse prevention program of its kind in Southwestern Indiana. Through interactive activities, the TEENPOWER program provides high school and middle school students the self-esteem and necessary tools to prevent the experimentation, use, and addiction of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
At this year's conference, our very own Jenn Garner, Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability joined Laura Ferguson, Executive Director of Youth Resources to discuss how The Papa John’s Foundation has helped YR in their efforts to build community leaders and share what the people of Evansville can do to support students in their community.