The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has awarded a $150,000 grant to New Pathways for Youth (NPFY), a community center serving at-risk youth in the greater Phoenix area. The grant will aid NPFY in scaling its services to better meet the needs of its mentors, staff and youth through improved mentor recruitment programs, staff training and curriculum development. 

“Everyone should be encouraged to imagine their best possible future, and then provided the opportunity to make that future a reality,” said businessman Bob Parsons. “New Pathways and its dedicated team of mentors are offering the support Valley youth need to pursue their dreams and create a life that is not defined by their current circumstances.”  

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, NPFY serves Valley youth experiencing poverty, making them more susceptible to adversities like physical abuse and neglect, substance abuse, parent incarceration and increased high-school dropout rates. The organization provides support through transformative mentorship programs based on each youth’s interests and skills, an intensive three-day retreat to identify and treat destructive behaviors, a college and career readiness program and parenting support for youth caregivers.

“New Pathways for Youth is helping students who are facing extreme hardship break through societal barriers by supporting their emotional, mental and academic development,” said businesswoman Renee Parsons. “We are proud to partner with an organization that is working to create change and positively affect generations to come.” 

The grant will help NPFY expand its services to reach three key benchmarks:

• Serve an additional 150 to 200 youth per year in targeted neighborhoods

• Improve its mentor retention rate to 80 percent or greater for mentors remaining in the program until a youth’s 21st birthday

• Increase college and career success of youth served

The need for committed and qualified mentors is crucial to NPFY’s mission. The transformative mentorship program goes beyond basic assistance, companionship and academic guidance. Mentors are trained to engage their youth in conversations that will help them identify and stop their own problematic attitudes and behaviors, getting them on the path to declaring a new possibility for their future. This type of mentorship requires extended time and personal commitments that are difficult to find.

“We are humbled that The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation is invested in our mission as they have an established credibility in this community that reinforces the importance of our work,” said NPFY CEO Christy McClendon. “These funds are critical to organizations like ours, allowing us to work through organizational challenges and expand our services. Without this support, the cycle of poverty will continue to plague families in high-risk neighborhoods.”

NPFY has grown to serve more than 500 youth each year, totaling 6,500 lives impacted since its founding in 1989. For more information, visit