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YEP Alumni – Where are they now?

Meet Michael Hermes, former Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) Grants Chair and a 2014 graduate of Sycamore High School. Recently, we reconnected and had a chance to catch up with Michael. So where is he today and what impact did the YEP program have on him? Let’s find out!


Meet Michael Hermes

(Q) Who are you and where did you go to school?
(A) My name is Michael Hermes and I went to Sycamore High School, part of the graduating class of 2014.

(Q) How many years were you in YEP?
(A) I was in YEP for three years and served as Grants Chair.

(Q) Where are you now and what are you up to?
(A) I am a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. I am currently a senior, studying Social Policy, Leadership, and Civic Engagement.

(Q) What is a recent accomplishment you are proud of?
(A) I recently completed a summer internship at the Oakland Public Education Fund in Oakland, California.

(Q) How did YEP shape what you are doing now?
(A) YEP gave me a unique perspective about community building and organizing that was different, yet complimentary of other organizations that I was involved with in high school. In YEP, we learned how to ask great questions that require deep thinking and responses. This helps me in my approach to programs and classes at the Northwestern University.

(Q) What were some of your greatest takeaways from YEP?
(A) As Grants Chair, one of my favorite and most memorable experiences was leading the allocation meeting during my term. It was an honor to facilitate discussion in an unbiased manor and to lead by asking important questions and framing grant applications.

(Q) How are you currently (or plan to in the near future) giving of your time, talent, and treasure?
(A) After I graduate this upcoming spring, I plan to pursue work in the nonprofit or community development sector. I believe that our society as a whole can benefit greatly from increased connections between for-profit companies and the communities in which they exist. In today’s day and age, most companies want to be active participants in building community capacity. I see the greatest contribution of my time and talent coming in this way.

(Q) If you could pass on any knowledge or advice to current YEP members, what would that be?
(A) You are making a positive impact on the lives of youth DeKalb County and that is very powerful. Remember, the work you do in YEP is important and meaningful!


Learn more about Youth Engaged in Philanthropy or follow us on Instagram. Visit the YEP Alumni page for additional interviews and updates!

YEP Alumni, DeKalb County Community Foundation

Michael Hermes, YEP Alumni, Sycamore High School class of 2014

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