YEP Alum Update With Drew DonahoeJune 27, 2023
Youth-led Committee Seeks County-Wide MembershipJuly 5, 2023
YEP 2.Pro, a Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) subcommittee, recently awarded $2,500 in grants to address youth issues in DeKalb County. The committee distributed $1,250 to Barb Food Mart, $750 to Spartan Food Pantry, and $500 to Somonauk Middle School.
YEP 2.Pro is a proactive grant committee comprised of juniors and seniors with one or more years of YEP membership. This committee explores youth issues in the community and proactively works to address them. The committee is youth-led by members and overseen by Foundation staff advisors. Members evaluate youth needs in the community, select issues to pursue, and explore ways to address them.
“Being part of the YEP 2.Pro committee was truly incredible,” said YEP 2.Pro Chair Thomas McComb. “It gave our members a memorable experience of positively impacting our community through our exploration of youth issues and grantmaking. And it made me confident as a leader and in my decision making. Seeing the result is a feeling I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
This year’s 11-member committee addressed ‘lack of youth involvement in the community’ and ‘anxiety in youth.’ The $500 Somonauk Middle School grant supported a student community action club and added dollars for a service project focused on kindness. The after-school club engages middle school youth and teaches them the joy and importance of community involvement. The $1,250 Barb Food Mart grant and the $750 Spartan Food Pantry grant addressed anxiety in youth by supplying the pantries with needed funding to purchase and distribute hygiene products to students who frequent the pantries. Hygiene products included deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and more.
“When we can provide these non-food essentials, we can positively impact families,” said Barb Food Mart Director Joey Moore. “For many, simple hygiene products are a financial strain. All students should be able to come to school confident that their basic needs are met, and hygiene is such an important basic need.”
Funding for the YEP 2.Pro committee grants come from the YEP Horizons Unlimited Fund. This 2021 Fund began as a gift from Nancy D. Castle and her children to support YEP’s proactive grantmaking efforts to organizations, programs, and projects in DeKalb County.
The mission of Youth Engaged in Philanthropy is to improve the quality of life for youth in the community. YEP is open to all high school students in DeKalb County. Members learn about grantmaking, nonprofit organizations, the importance of philanthropy, and that their voice is valuable. For more information or to support these efforts, visit dekalbccf.org/yep or contact Noah Nordbrock at 815-748-5383.