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Kids in Library


We would like to take a moment to thank our partners for sponsoring our 22nd Annual Grant Award & Dinner. Your support and partnership will play a key role in the success of our event, and we appreciate your participation!

22nd Annual Grant Awards &Annual Fund Raising Dinner Thursday, November 14, 2024

Serving most recently as the Senior Vice President, Regional Hospitals providing system oversight for the Health System’s small and rural community hospitals; Vice President Post-Acute Care Services providing overall direction for the operations and strategic development for Sparrow Specialty Hospital and Community Care Services (Home Care, Hospice, Palliative Care, Durable Medical Equipment, Retail Pharmacy, and Outpatient Wound Services). In addition, she was responsible for the development of strategic partnerships with external post-acute care community providers to ensure a seamless transition of care throughout the system; and served as President, Sparrow Specialty Hospital which is a long-term acute care hospital which was developed and opened under CarterRobertson’s leadership. Ms. Carter-Robertson is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and currently serves as the Regent for Michigan and Northwest Ohio for the College. Ms. Carter-Robertson received her bachelor’s degree in science from University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in health administration from St. Louis University. In addition, Carter-Robertson periodically serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Flint Campus through the Department of Public Health and Health Sciences. On a personal level, Carter-Robertson also enjoys traveling, baking, and supporting her husband in ministry and missionary work


Kira Carter-Robertson

Ms. Carter-Robertson’s tenure at Sparrow Health System has spanned 24 years in a variety of roles. She currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for University of Michigan Health-Sparrow

Carter-Robertson got her start with Sparrow as an Administrative Fellow and quicky transitioned to serve as the Senior Strategist for the Health System before transitioning into key leadership roles across the system to include:



I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of 11 years old at First Street Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville Tennessee. There were two elderly women at my church who mentored me during my childhood that I have very fond memories of and who had such an impact on my life. They were Mother Baines and Sister Wilson. It was because of them that I taught Sunday School classes, worked in Vacation Bible School, attended Baptist Training Union (BTU) and sang in the adult choir. Sunday School has always been a very important part of my life because it was through the Sunday School lessons that I came to know Jesus and decided to give Him my life. Later in my married life with Pastor Stone I formed and directed a youth choir at Carroll Street which was an inner city church in the projects in South Nashville. Pastor Stone and I visited the projects and recruited children and youth to sing in the choir. Because of my love for singing, I joined different singing groups and I joined Bobby Jones’ group when he first started his Nashville group. At Friendship Baptist Church at 925 West Main Street and also at 2912 Pleasant Grove Road, I was the director for Vacation Bible School, developed and directed the Children/ Youth Church for many years and became the youth director under Pastor Nicholson. Also, I spoke on several occasions for the Women’s retreat and at other churches. Because of my love for teaching, I knew early on that I wanted to be a teacher. So, I graduated from Fisk University summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. I taught English, literature, and reading at the middle and high schools for seven years in Nashville, Tennessee. After moving to Lansing, Michigan in 1982, I became a part-time professor at Lansing community College and Davenport Business College where I taught English, Writing Composition, and Business Writing. Later I became the multicultural director at Lansing Community College. This position gave me experience in planning multicultural events at LCC. Later I attended Michigan State University and graduated magna cum laude with a Master’s Degree in Education Administration/ Curriculum Development with a minor in Communication. With Pastor Stone’s insistence I went on to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Education Administration K-12 at MSU. Lester was able to see his mom walk across the stage to receive her hard-earned degree. Hard earned because it took some time to achieve it. I thought about giving up several times because of the sexism and racism I experienced in a male dominated field at that time, but Pastor would not let me quit. To this day, I am so glad he did not let me give up. It is because of my education and training that many opportunities have opened up for me. Presently I am a Student Support Specialist at Reo Elementary School. I work with students K-3 who have social and emotional issues that interfere with their learning in a regular classroom setting. I provide them with strategies and coping skills they can use to help them in the classroom setting. For the first time, Reo had a choir that I started and a dance group. During my ten-year tenure at Reo School, I started a safety patrol squad. Prior to Covid-19, I nominated a Reo student for Safety Patroller of the Year Award, which she won. This year I nominated another student and applied for a grant for the safety patrol. The winner for each has not been determined yet.


In addition to this, I started a Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts program at Reo, which have been very successful and have continued every year. I recruited MSU students from the Center for Community Engaged Learners to be tutors and mentors for Reo students. They came twice a week and spent two hours per student. The students loved the one-on-one attention with the MSU students. They looked forward to the students coming and spending time with them. I also established a backpack and coats give-away for the children and youth in the community to make sure children had the necessary school supplies when they returned to school and to make sure no child would be cold. I am constantly looking for opportunities to engage youth in extra-curricular activities where they can discover and demonstrate their natural talents and gifts. From my own experience in growing up, mentorship is very important. I am so thankful to the two ladies who mentored me and now I am trying to give back to others. This is me. This is who I am. I did not get here on my own. God has blessed me in so many ways and He has put people in my life who helped to shape me into who I am today. I am so thankful and grateful.

While achieving academically, Callan also participates in other extracurricular activities. Through her involvement with the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) at the Capital Region Community Foundation, Callan consistently demonstrates exceptional leadership, dedication, and a strong commitment to community service. She actively contributes valuable insights during discussions, showing a remarkable ability to think critically and creatively. Callan’s enthusiasm for making a positive impact on our region is truly inspiring. It is with pride that we highlight Callan’s recent selection to join the Michigan Community Foundation’s Youth Project (MCFYP). This prestigious opportunity speaks volumes about Callan’s future leadership potential and her outstanding influence on the field of philanthropy. The leader of this organization speaks with assurance that she will excel in this new role and continue to make significant contributions to not only our community, but others around the state. One of Callan’s most impressive qualities is her unwavering dedication to any task she undertakes. Whether it’s organizing events, leading group discussions, or collaborating with peers, she approaches everything with a high level of professionalism and determination. Callan’s excellent communication skills and ability to work effectively in a team make her a valuable asset in any setting. Her positive attitude, coupled with her willingness to take on challenges, sets her apart as a standout individual. As she progresses beyond her sophomore status, there is no doubt that Callan Maxwell will continue to excel in her academic and extracurricular pursuits. She is an outstanding student and an exceptional young leader who is destined for success.


CALLAN MAXWELL , Waverly High School

Callan Maxwell is an honor sophomore student at Waverly High School. She holds a 4.0 GPA while garnering honors as Academic Letter for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement at Waverly High School, October 2023 and National Junior Honor Society (Inducted 2022). She is described as a motivated and enthusiastic Computer Science and Marketing student with a high level of proficiency in multiple programming languages, and active involvement in extracurricular computer science and STEM activities. She seeks to leverage her skills and experiences by contributing to various projects.


LARRY DAWSON, J. W. Sexton High School

Larry Dawson is an honor sophomore at J. W. Sexton High School with a 3.8 GPA 2022- 2026. He received the certificate of high achievement at Sexton. While maintaining high academic standing, he is CEO/Owner of Spanky’s Sweet Treats from 2021 to present. His entrepreneur spirit finds him creating an exciting customer driven menu while honing his customer relation skills. He shows a keen interest in becoming more business savvy in his Budgeting, Time Management, Creative Thinking Leadership Problem-Solving, Computer Literacy classes. Larry has developing Project Management Tools and strong Communication skills. He describes himself as an innovative and responsible scholar who is passionate about mentorship and being a role model to the youth in his community. The Unit Director at The Boys and Girls Club of Lansing has worked with Larry Dawon III for for the past 7 years. He speaks highly of Larry’s positive energy and his overall participation as a club member, Junior staff, and Peer leader. In these capacities he has always gone above and beyond my expectation. Larry has been through a lot the past few years with battling his sickle cell and the loss of his father and his spirit has still remained unwavering and joyful. Larry’s commitment to coming to The Club and being a role model for the younger members has consistently demonstrated his leadership as well as his pride. He is always ready and willing to help in any capacity. He is the epitome of a determined, resilient, intelligent, hardworking young man. Larry volunteered for years with the hope that once of age he would be able to call himself an employee at The Club he loves so much. There have been many occasions where he has taken the initiative to step up and diffuse conflicting situations between club members effortlessly. His great rapport with club members is largely to the fact that he is a great listener and always hears everyone’s side before offering his opinion. As a Junior Staff employee, Larry has stayed punctual, diligent, and has maintained a strong work ethic. Along with those qualities, I think Larry’s upbeat, kind, and loving personality in addition to his willingness to offer creative suggestions that could improve or strengthen any project or activity in which he’s participating has taken him far as a staff. He is a genuinely caring kid, very dependable, and willing to go beyond the call of duty to make sure he gets the job done, and as a result he was previously awarded Junior Youth of the Year. Overall, Larry has been an amazing club member and an asset to The Boys and Girls Club of Lansing

    • Big Brother ,Big Sister, Michigan Capital Region, Increasing School-based matches – $5,000

    • Capital Area United Way, College Access Network, FAFSA Flocked 2022 – $3000

    • Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center., Art Encounters – $4000

    • Les Meres et’ Debutantes Club of Greater Lansing Alumni Association , Health and Wellness – $2500

    • Grit Glam and Guts Programming – $2,000

    • Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center/Art Encounters – $2,000

    • Carol Greer Learning Center/School Support Program – $2,000

    • Building Child And Family Initiatives Stem Ahead Camp – $2,000

    • Capital United Way Capital Area Access Network/FAFSA Flocked – $2,000

    • Michigan Dyslexia Institute – $2,500

    • Kids Turning Corners – $2,500

    • Kids Repair Program – $1,500

    • Building Child And Family Initiatives – $2,500

    • Womens Center Of Greater Lansing – $2,500

    • Lansing Art Gallery And Education Center – $3,000

    • Lansing Spartans Youth Org. – $500

    • Kids Turning Corners, Inc. – $2,500

    • Building Child & Family Initiatives – $2,250

    • Capital Area Literacy Coalition – $2,000

    • Churches of Greater Lansing – $2,500

    • Lansing Art Gallery, Inc – $1000

    • Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center – $1,500

    • The Turning Point of Lansing – $2,250

    • St. Stephens Church Carol Greer Community

    • Learning Center – $1,000

    • Kids Turning Corners, Inc – $2000

    • Building Child & Family Initiatives – $1500

    • Village Summit – $2500

    • Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence – $2000

    • Eastside Community Center – $2000

    • Lansing Art Gallery, Inc – $1000

    • Gridiron Summer Institute – $1000

    • Building Child & Family Initiatives – $2,000

    • Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center – $2,000

    • Eastside Community Action Center – $1,600

    • Kids Repair Program – $1,400

    • The Carol J. Greer Community Center – $3,000

    • Boys & Girls Club of Lansing – $2,000

    • Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc. – $2,500

    • Kids Repair Program – $1,200

    • Kendon Elementary School – $2,000

    • New Mount Calvary Baptist Church – $2,300

    • Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center – $1,400

    • Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc. – $1,000

    • Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan – $1,400

    • ITEC – $1,000

    • Kids Repair Program – $1,200

    • Lansing Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation, Inc. – $2,000

    • St Stephen’s Community Church – $2,000

    • Kids Repair Program – $1,000

    • St. Stephen’s Community Church – $1,000

    • The Turning Point of Lansing – $2,500

    • Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc. – $500

    • Highfields, Inc. – $2,500

    • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Epsilon Tau Sigma – $2,000

    • Lansing College Access Network – $1,000

    • Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center – $1,000

    • Southside Community Coalition – $1,000

    • The Turning Point of Lansing – $1,500

    • Kids Repair Program – $750

    • New Mount Calvary Baptist Church – $1,000

    • Reach Studio Art Center – $750

    • Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan – $1,000

    • Capital Area Literacy Coalition – $1,000

    • Northwest Lansing Health Communities Initiative – $1,000 

    • St. Stephen’s Community Church – $1,200

    • Highfields, Inc. – $1,200

    • Dream and Vision Manifested – $1,000

    • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity – $1,500

    • Black Child & Family Institute – $2,000

    • Boys and Girls Clubs of Lansing – $2,000

    • Eastside Community Action Center – $1,100 

    • Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center – $1,500

    • D.A.N.C.E, Inc.

    • (Developing & Nurturing Community Empowerment) – $1,800

    • Big Brothers Big Sisters Michigan Capital Region – $1,000

    • Eastside Community Action Center – $1,200

    • Closing the Digital Gap – $500 Black Child & Family Institute – $2,000

    • Capital Area Golf for Youth, Inc. – $1,000

    • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity ETS Chapter Educational Fund – $1,000

    • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity ETS Chapter Educational Fund – $1,500

    • St. Stephen’s Community Church – Community Outreach Center – $1,500

    • Antioch Cares Community Development Corp. – $500

    • Big Brothers Big Sisters Michigan Capital Region – $1,000

    • The Turning Point Lansing – $1,500

    • Lansing Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation – $1,500

    • Northwest Initiative – $1,500

    • Black Child & Family Institute – $1,500

    • Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center – $500

    • Worship Without Words – $1,500

    • Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center – $1,500

    • Worship Without Words – $2,000

    • Antioch Cares Community Development Corp. – $1,000

    • Big Brothers Big Sisters Michigan Capital Region – $1,500

    • Ele’s Place – $1,500

    • Boys & Girls Club of Lansing – $2,500

    • Black Child & Family Institute – $3,500

    • MI Foundation for Education Leadership – $1,000

    • Inspirational Ministries – $1,500

    • Gateway Community Services – $2,000.00

    • Westside YMCA – $2,000.00

Past Award Recipients

Our Impact

Past Award Recipients: List and celebrate past grant recipients and the projects they've successfully undertaken with the support of the foundation.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Details on how businesses and individuals can support the event through various sponsorship levels.

 Contact Us for More Information

Provide contact details for inquiries about the event, how to become a sponsor, or reserve seats.

22nd Annual Grant Awards & Annual Fund Raising Dinner Thursday, November 14, 2024

The Board of Directors of the Uplift Our Youth Foundation Cordially invites you to attend our 22nd Annual Grant Awards and Fund Raising Dinner 


6:00 p.m.

Doors open ~ 6:00pm Program ~ 6:30pm Dinner ~ 7:00pm

Crowne Plaza Hotel & Conference Center 925 S. Creyts Road Lansing, Michigan 48917

Honorary Co-Chair $150 per person (1 Dinner Reservation & Program Acknowledgment)

Dinner Reservation Only $100.00 per person

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