Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) is an initiative to build leadership skills and teach the importance of nonprofits and philanthropy to high school youth. YEP members assist the DeKalb County Community Foundation (DCCF) in address youth issues in our community.
YEP is youth led and meets monthly September through May. Meetings are set at various locations to familiarize the youth with the local non-profit community. During the year YEP members are given additional opportunities for service projects and activities. In January of each year, local non-profits can apply online for YEP Grants that are allocated by the youth from the DeKalb County Youth Grantmakers Fund. YEP members review the grant applications through a group process and award over $10,000 annually to local non-profits. Grants are awarded each year in May at a YEP Grant Reception.
The YEP program began with the creation of the Youth Grantmakers Fund. In 2008, Helen Bozivich, a resident of DeKalb since the 1970s and retired professor of mathematical statistics at NIU, passed away. In her will, Helen made a generous undesignated gift to the Community Foundation. The DCCF Board used a portion of her gift to start the DeKalb County Youth Grantmakers Fund, which is an endowed fund that provides the Youth Engaged in Philanthropy grant dollars.
On September 20, 2009, 22 youth from throughout DeKalb County came together for the first Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) Meeting. Over the years the program has impacted over 250 local high school youth. The current 2015-2016 committee has over 50 members representing 8 high schools in DeKalb County.
Since 2010, YEP has awarded over $75,000 to more than 22 non-profit organizations and programs serving youth in DeKalb County. Partnering with high school students through the YEP program is one great example of living out the mission of the DeKalb County Community Foundation.
There is Strength Through Partnership.