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Meet Isabella Hayes, former Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) Chair and a 2017 graduate of DeKalb High School. During her four years in the YEP program, Isabella had many opportunities for leadership development and embracing philanthropy. Recently, we had a chance for a quick interview to see what she’s up to.

So where is Isabella now and did the YEP program have an impact on her life after high school? Let’s find out!

Meet Isabella Hayes

Q) Who are you and where did you go to school?
Isabella: My name is Isabella Hayes, and I went to DeKalb High School, graduating class of 2017.

(Q) How many years were you in YEP?
Isabella: I was in YEP for four years, and served as Chair.

(Q) Where are you now and what are you up to?
Isabella: I am going into my senior year at the University of Michigan! This summer I am interning at a Chicago based company called MATTER that serves as a hub for healthcare innovation across the world. Since the internship is remote, I am spending most of my time in Ann Arbor while heading back to Chicago every couple of weekends to spend some time with family and in the office when I can.

(Q) What’s a recent accomplishment you are proud of?
Isabella: Amid all of the challenges that accompanied moving virtual for classes and internships, as well as simply dealing with a global pandemic, I still managed to plan my sister’s bachelorette party. The maid of honor life never truly ends! 🙂

(Q) How did YEP shape what you are doing now?
Isabella: YEP was my first exposure to nonprofit work and it helped shape what kinds of organizations I became involved in at Michigan. At school I have been working on the executive board for a nonprofit called Michigan Movement for a few years now. We work with the community that is affected by homelessness in the Ann Arbor area. Our biggest event is called Project Connect which is a 6-hour event where we provide dental services, haircuts, birth certificate location, Medicaid/Medicare enrollment, etc.

(Q) What were some of your greatest takeaways from YEP?
Isabella: YEP was one of the first organizations that allowed students to really take the reins when it came to making our own change. Since then, I’ve been in positions within companies where I am the youngest in the room (by far), and YEP had helped me gain the confidence I needed to be able to contribute my own ideas. I have a voice!

(Q) How are you currently (or plan to in the near future) giving of your time, talent, and treasure?
Isabella: In addition to taking a higher role in student organizations that I’m involved in, such as Michigan Movement, I’ve also recently started walking dogs in Ann Arbor. Not super glamorous, but I usually have the opportunity to get to know the owners every time I stop by!

Her advice to current and future YEP members:

Try to really understand the ins and outs of nonprofits. Whether you want to work with nonprofits in the future or not, it’s information that everyone should know moving forward. Not many students your age have the opportunity to be involved (at such a high level) in an organization like YEP. It can be a huge talking point for future opportunities and interviews! – Isabella Hayes

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