three smiling girls from LUCY Outreach

Lifting Up Camden’s Youth

The Domenica Foundation pledged $500,000 over five years toward a new youth center for LUCY (Lifting Up Camden’s Youth) Outreach. Our commitment equal one-quarter of the $2 million LUCY is raising to build the center. 

LUCY expects to break ground in late spring 2021. We’ll be there, and we’ll bring you along!

The new youth center will double LUCY’s capacity—literally. By 2022, LUCY expects to increase the number of programs it offers from 400 to 650 and to double both its staff and the number of youth served.

“We’re thrilled to add LUCY Outreach to the youth programs we support,” said Elena Piperno, the Domenica Foundation’s director. “They do so much! LUCY is a good match for us, because they share our commitment to education and career exploration. Like us, they work to make sure that all of Camden’s young people have the opportunity to grow and thrive.”

LUCY’s current programs serve school-age youngsters and continue through young adulthood.  Programs include educational, social, and service-oriented opportunities both after school and during the summer. College and career readiness and support are an important part of the mix. 

All programs are free, and transportation and meals are provided. The Domenica Foundation loves to support organizations like LUCY that break down barriers so young people can realize their dreams.

“We were impressed with LUCY’s success,” said foundation founder Pepe Piperno. “They have a 100 percent high school graduation rate. We want to help them keep up the good work and extend it to more kids who just need the opportunity to realize their potential.”

In a December 21 Facebook post, LUCY wrote in appreciation of the Pipernos and the Domenica Foundation: “Thank you for remembering your own humble beginnings…. This gift is truly organization-changing and life-changing for LUCY and Camden!”

Elena and Pepe Piperno met safely outdoors with LUCY participant-leaders in fall 2020 to dream together about the new youth center.