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Serving DeKalb County, IL Since 1993

Welcome to Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP)!

Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) begins its ninth year as a Community Foundation initiative in the fall of 2017. High school youth from across DeKalb County participate in monthly meetings, leadership activities, and volunteer outreach events to understand the need for philanthropy in DeKalb County. The youth are familiarized with the nonprofit sector and introduced to grantmaking. Through youth led meetings, the YEP committee learns to analyze grant applications, conduct site visits, and identify the potential impact on other youth in DeKalb County. YEP grants support projects and programs that benefit youth in DeKalb County.

Upcoming meetings/events include:

  • YEP Meet/Greet - TBD - Fall 2017
  • YEP Orientation - TBD - Fall 2017

2016/2017 YEP Year in Review

What is Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP)?

YEP Takeaways


How do I join Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP)?
Visit the Join YEP webpage. All YEP members must complete a YEP Application Form and a YEP Commitment Agreement. The best way to determine if you want to join YEP is to attend the Meet & Greet and Orientation.
What happens at the Meet & Greet?
The Meet & Greet is a chance for youth interested in joining YEP to meet the Executive Committee and returning YEP members. The executive committee will lead a short presentation to explain YEP's purpose and encourage everyone to join, but other than that, it’s an informal social event.
What happens during YEP Orientation?
Orientation is the first required meeting for YEP members. The meeting will explain YEP's purpose by showcasing YEP's achievements in prior years. Members should plan to participate in a community-wide Scavenger Hunt. The majority of the meeting will be spent travelling in adult chaperoned vehicles to various past YEP grantees. Parents willing to volunteer as drivers please contact Becky Zantout, YEP Staff Liaison.
What is a typical YEP meeting like?
YEP meetings in October, November, December, January, February, and March, are held on a weeknight from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. All meetings are led by the youth executive committee. Each meeting will feature a theme or speaker to help youth members understand the many facets of grantmaking.
Where are YEP meetings held?
YEP meeting locations will vary. Because YEP is a county-wide initiative, meetings are held in as many of the high schools in the county as we have members. Meeting locations are always announced at least one week prior to the meeting via e-mail.
Does YEP always meet on Sundays?
Some special YEP meetings are held on Sundays. The Meet & Greet, Orientation, and April Grant Allocation are usually held on Sundays because they are longer meetings. The monthly meetings from October to March will be held on a weeknight from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Can I join YEP as a Freshman?
Any high school student in DeKalb County can join YEP. If you are a Freshman looking for an activity that will help you connect with the community, volunteer, and make friends with youth from other schools, YEP might be a good fit!
I live outside of DeKalb County, but attend a high school in DeKalb County. Can I join YEP?
Yes! The YEP Executive Committee encourages high school students from Indian Creek, Sandwich, Somonauk, Hinckley-Big Rock, and Hiawatha High Schools to join YEP. EVEN if you live outside of DeKalb County.
I live in DeKalb County but attend high school outside of DeKalb County. Can I join YEP?
Yes! All high school aged residents of the DeKalb County are invited to join YEP.
I am homeschooled. Can I join YEP?
Yes! All high school aged residents of DeKalb County are invited to join YEP. We have had homeschooled youth in our program that love participating in YEP because of the many opportunities it offers for meeting peers with similar interests from all over DeKalb County.
What does YEP do?
YEP is a group of high school students that learn about volunteerism, philanthropy, leadership, and grantmaking through monthly meetings, outreach events, and a special youth-led grant program. The pinnacle of the YEP year is a grant allocation meeting in which the youth members are responsible for allocating approximately $10,000 to youth serving nonprofits in DeKalb County. Members attend monthly meetings to learn the roles of community foundations and nonprofits and how to distribute the YEP grant dollars to address needs of youth in DeKalb County.
What is an Outreach Opportunity and why do all YEP members have to attend one?
Outreach opportunities are volunteer opportunities that YEP members participate in as a small group. Some events we have contributed to in the past are: Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack Day, Pumpkin Run Water Station, ALTRUSA Spelling Bee, and Cooking For Kids Sake. All YEP members are encouraged to participate in at least one Outreach event to familiarize with each other and increase understanding of nonprofits.
When can my child join the YEP committee?
YEP is open to new members at the beginning of each new school year. The Meet & Greet and Orientation are the first YEP events of the year, and the best time to commit to YEP. New members are not usually accepted after the October meeting. Some special cases or exceptions will be considered at the discretion of the YEP executive committee.
What is Philanthropy?
Come to a YEP Meeting and find out!

Get Connected

Facebook Group - Youth Engaged in Philanthropy

Instagram - youthengagedinphilanthropy