Recognizing the Principles of Optimism and Good Citizenship in Youth 


We seek to honor achievement in the face of adversity and promote excellence in the development of leadership through education

Formed by the Optimist Club of St. Paul Minnesota in 1996, this foundation has directly awarded over $480,000 in post secondary scholarships to local students.

16 $2,500 Scholarships are awarded annually to students in St. Paul schools -- public, charter, and private.


Scholarship Process

Our program is for incoming St Paul High School Seniors. The application process usually begins in early September with applications being evaluated in late October with our awards being granted in November.

The students we honor have faced some form of significant adversity in their lives while showing a wide range of success academically and in outside activities.



Recognizing Our Partners

Corporate Donations:
The following companies have donated funding to our foundation: CitiBank, Morgan Stanley, McKnight Foundation, St Paul Foundation, UBS Financial, 3M, St. Paul Travelers, Wells Fargo, Wal-Mart, Great Clips, Midwest Staffing Group, Highland Bank, and Bank Cherokee.

How I can donate:
The St. Paul Friend of Youth Foundation is a non-profit organization which is exempt from taxation under section 501 ( c ) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code. All donations to the foundation are fully deductible to the extent of the value of the gift.

We are a 100% volunteer organization.

To donate online by credit card please click on the "donate now" tab on the upper left portion of this screen.

Donations by check should be payable to "The St. Paul Friend of Youth Foundation" and should be mailed to Optimist Club of St. Paul, PO Box 40065, St. Paul, MN 55104-8065

To donate securities or other assets in lieu of cash, please contact John Tillotson at 651-402-6858 or 
by e-mail to