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Serving DeKalb County, IL Since 1993

Welcome to Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP)

In the fall of 2020, Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) begins its 12th year as a youth-led committee of the DeKalb County Community Foundation. The mission of YEP is to improve the quality of life for youth in DeKalb County.

THANK YOU to the many donors who continue to provide support and direction for this very important youth initiative. And thank you to all our members, alumni, advisors, and community partners. Together, we are making a positive impact and improving the quality of life for youth in DeKalb County.

YEP is free and open to all high school students in DeKalb County, IL. Through monthly meetings and volunteer outreach events, YEP builds leadership, communication, social, and analytical skills. Members are familiarized with nonprofits, build an understanding of philanthropy, and are introduced to grantmaking. A large portion of the year is spent on grantmaking, YEP Grants, where members learn to analyze grant applications, conduct site visits, and identify the potential impact on other youth in DeKalb County. In May of each year, the YEP committee grants approximately $12,500 to nonprofit and community organizations for a variety of youth serving programs and projects. The 2020-2021 membership application deadline is Friday, September 4, 2020.

For returning members, YEP offers additional leadership and learning through two sub-committees. The YEP 2.Pro Committee and Fundraising Committee are for juniors and seniors with one or more years of experience as a YEP member. YEP 2.Pro is a proactive grantmaking committee that works to explore youth issues in DeKalb County and proactively address them. The Fundraising Committee works to raise support for YEP through donor asks, written grant requests, and by participating in events such as Give DeKalb County.

Apply to Join Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) >

PLEASE NOTE: As we enter the 2020-2021 year of YEP, we face a challenge with COVID-19. We desire to provide a safe and high quality opportunity for local high school students to be a part of. The health and safety of our members is the highest priority. YEP will look and feel a little different this year. As of August 2020, we will proceed following the guidelines and format in our 2020-2021 Return to YEP Plan.

View the 2020-2021 Return to YEP Plan >
Member Meetings, Important Dates, and Volunteer Events:
  • Membership applications open - Wednesday, August 4, 2020
  • Meet & Greet - Sunday, August 23 from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. (Online ONLY)
  • Membership applications due - Friday, September 4, 2020
  • Volunteer outreach events - TBD
View the 2020-2021 Member Meeting Calendar >

FAQs

How do I join Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP)?
All high school youth interested in becoming a YEP member must complete an annual application and commitment form. Membership applications become available in August with a mid-September deadline. All applicants will be notified of membership status prior to the September meeting. To reflect our desire to be a DeKalb County youth committee, membership will be capped per high school. For those who are a little unsure about joining, be sure to attend the Meet & Greet to learn more about the YEP committee.
What happens at the Meet & Greet?
The August Meet & Greet is a chance for youth interested in joining YEP to learn more about the committee and program. This is a fun and informative meeting led by the YEP Executive Committee.
What is a typical YEP meeting like and where are they held?
YEP meetings will be held in The Freight Room, located inside the DeKalb County Community Foundation at 475 DeKalb Avenue, Sycamore. 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 Eommittee. Each meeting will feature a theme or guest speaker to help youth members understand the many facets of grantmaking. The August (Meet & Greet), September (Orientation), April (Allocation) and May (Grants Reception) meetings are a little different in content and meeting time.
What does YEP do?

YEP is a committee of high school students that learn about volunteerism, philanthropy, leadership, and grantmaking through monthly meetings, outreach events, and special youth-led grant programs (responsive and proactive).

The responsive grant program is for all members. Members are responsible for allocating more than $12,000 to nonprofits and community organizations in DeKalb County. During monthly meetings, members learn the roles of community foundations and nonprofits. Members learn how to distribute grant dollars to address youth focused needs in our communities. Funding for this grant program is possible through the DeKalb County Youth Grant Makers Fund at DeKalb County Community Foundation.

The proactive grant program is reserved for YEP members who are juniors/seniors and have 1 or more years of YEP experience. Members are responsible for identifying youth needs in the community and exploring ways to address them. Time is set aside during most regular YEP meetings for the YEP 2.PRO Committee to meet. Donor asks are the main source of funding for this grant program.

Does YEP meet on Sundays?
During the year there are four YEP meetings held on a Sunday. The Meet & Greet (August), September meeting, April meeting, and May meeting are all held on a Sunday due to the content and need for a longer meeting.
What is a YEP Outreach Event and why do all members need to attend one?
Outreach events are volunteer opportunities that YEP members participate in as a group. Outreach events may change from year to year. Past outreach events YEP participated in include: Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack Day, Altrusa Spelling Bee, Northern Illinois Food Bank Mobile Food Pantry, YSB Royal Children's Ball, and more. All YEP members are required to participate in at least one outreach event to familiarize with each other and increase understanding of nonprofits. Learn more.
I live outside of DeKalb County, but attend a high school in DeKalb County. Can I join YEP?
Yes! YEP is open to ALL high school students in DeKalb County. If you live in DeKalb County OR attend a high school in DeKalb County, you are eligible to apply. Learn more.
I live in DeKalb County, but attend a high school outside of DeKalb County. Can I join YEP?
Yes! YEP is open to ALL high school students in DeKalb County. If you live in DeKalb County OR attend a high school in DeKalb County, you are eligible to apply. Learn more.
I am homeschooled. Can I join YEP?
Yes! All high school students in DeKalb County are invited to join YEP. Homeschool students who have participated in YEP love it because of the many opportunities it offers for meeting peers with similar interests from all over DeKalb County. Learn more.
How do I join the YEP 2.Pro Committee or Fundraising Committee?
YEP offers additional leadership and learning through two sub-committees. The YEP 2.Pro Committee and Fundraising Committee are for juniors and seniors with one or more years of experience as a YEP member. Returning members can apply to join on of these sub-committees when they fill out their annual membership application.

For questions or additional information, please contact YEP Staff Advisor Noah Nordbrock at 815-748-5383 or noah@dekalbccf.org.

“Each year, YEP empowers high school students to think creatively, to analyze grant proposals, and to allocate thousands of grant dollars. YEP is truly a life changing experience.” - Danniela Estrada - Sandwich High School (Class of 2018)

2019-2020
Year in Review

What is YEP and What
do Members do?

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