LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A community non-profit that gives young people a hands-on opportunity to learn skilled trades held a celebration Friday night.

The Mikey 23 Foundation was founded in memory of Michael McKissic the Second. He was shot and killed at age 23. His father started the Foundation to improve the lives of young people through education and training in the area of skilled trades.

The non-profit honored U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) for her lifelong commitment to the people of Lansing. The agency also wanted to recognize her work and efforts to empower young people to reach their full potential.

“We want something positive for young people, and give them a choice other than a gang, other than gun violence and so they have taken the worst possible pain you can have and turned it into a Foundation that’s creating opportunity and saving people’s lives,” Stabenow tells 6 News of the McKissic family’s commitment to the Foundation and its mission.

Stabenow is retiring from the Senate in 2024.