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Serving DeKalb County, IL Since 1993

Welcome to Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP)

Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) is in its 11th 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.

YEP is 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. Last year, the YEP committee allocated and granted $14,005 to nine community organizations for a variety of youth serving programs and projects.

Thank you to those 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.

Meetings and Outreach Events:
  • Full meeting schedule coming soon!
  • August 2020 Meet & Greet< - TBD
“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)


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 July/August with a August/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 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 committee. 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 approximately $12,000 to youth serving nonprofits 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 seasoned YEP members. 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, Gracie Center Popcorn Harvest, Altrusa Spelling Bee, Northern Illinois Food Bank Mobile Food Pantry, YSB Royal Children's Ball, and more. All YEP members are encouraged 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.

Celebrating 10 Years of YEP!

What is YEP?

YEP Instagram feed - Follow youthengagedinphilanthropy

Get Connected

Instagram - youthengagedinphilanthropy

Facebook - Youth Engaged in Philanthropy

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