Northern Kentucky Students of All Ages Get Lift Through Series of Grants


horizon community funds sends nearly $20,000 across three nonprofits for summer needs

Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky has granted $15,000 to FUEL NKU, $2,700 to UpSpring, and $1,250 to Esperanza Latino Center of Northern Kentucky in the latest round of grants from its Horizon NKY Coronavirus Relief Fund.

FUEL NKU (FUEL: Feed the University & Enrich Lives) is Northern Kentucky University’s free food pantry program that supports food security and enrich the lives of students through education, engagement, and advocacy. Funds from their recent grant will be used to purchase food and basic goods for students through summer months.

“On behalf of Northern Kentucky University, I would like to thank Horizon Community Funds for their generosity and commitment to student success,” said NKU College of Health and Human Services Dean and Professor Dale Stephenson. “This gift provides relief to students in need and brings them one step closer to earning a college degree and becoming contributing members of our campus community.” 

UpSpring empowers children experiencing homelessness in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky by providing opportunities through education and enrichment, and will use its grant award to purchase tablets and laptops for summer campers and their junior counselors in Northern Kentucky. With the understanding that many children are still not vaccinated, the nonprofit is offering a hybrid model for their camp, with three days in-person and two days remote. The tablets and laptops will facilitate online learning and enrichment on remote days, while helping students develop the skills needed to succeed in a virtual world.

“We’re so thrilled to be partnering with Horizon Community Funds to provide such an essential resource for our students,” said UpSpring Executive Director Alex Kuhns. “As we’ve all seen over the past year, virtual learning and work are part of the new normal and our ability to connect children experiencing homelessness with tablets and laptops empowers them to be successful in this new world.”

Esperanza Latino Center of Northern Kentucky, the premier center in Northern Kentucky advocating and providing services for the Hispanic/Latino and multicultural community, will use funds to purchase computer equipment and learning materials for their summer tutoring program to keep Hispanic/Latino students on track after a nontraditional year of school- and home-based learning.

“There is no greater area of concern than the educational setbacks that the Coronavirus pandemic has created,” said Esperanza Executive Director Reid Yearwood. “Like other communities, many students from the Latino/Hispanic community of Northern Kentucky have fallen behind and parents are highly concerned. This grant will allow us to build the foundation for a tutoring program that will provide students the opportunity to receive additional instruction in order to get caught up and avoid falling further behind. Thank you Horizon Community Funds for continuing to believe in our mission and for providing much needed support to the community that we serve.”

“The pandemic’s impact on students will be heightened for some time,” added Nancy Grayson. “We will continue to stand by and keep in close contact with local leaders in this space, and we steadfastly have our hand aligned with theirs to help lift all students in Northern Kentucky.”

Individuals and businesses are encouraged to donate to the Horizon NKY Coronavirus Relief Fund by:

  • Texting “NKYRELIEF” to 44-321

  • Visiting

  • Mailing a check made payable to Horizon Community Funds (memo: NKY Coronavirus Relief Fund): 50 E. RiverCenter Blvd., Suite 431, Covington, KY 41011