Youth Engaged in Philanthropy

All content is © Copyright 2012 McLean County Diversity Project

Do you remember "back when" as a teenager, an adult and/or group trusted you to find a solution or discover a way to accomplish a result; and depended on you to lead the way?

Do you remember the heady sense of empowerment - fulfillment - when you could see "the difference" your efforts made; a time when you could almost "taste" the future?

Do you remember longing only for the freedom to practice your leadership skills in an encouraging environment?

The Illinois Prairie Community Foundation’s newest program, Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) offers just this kind of opportunity.

YEP is a program in which a group of high school students will allocate grant funds to local initiatives. YEP builds leadership and teamwork skills while engaging participants in a unique and philanthropic experience. YEP is a non-profit group that funds local youth-directed and/or youth-oriented programs. The 2013-2014 school year marks the inaugural grant cycle for YEP, and we are very excited to get started!

The magic of YEP will be in:
· the diverse teen membership drawn from eight area schools
· the activities planned to create an understanding of each other and of oneself
· stimulating creative problem solving and group decision making
· exploring the met and the unmet needs of youth in the greater McLean County area
· encouraging the development of increased community resources through grant writing
· promoting an ongoing appreciation for the creativity and "can do" spirit of McLean County youth

We appreciate the visionaries at Illinois Prairie Community Foundation for this initiative to engage youth for youth, and are looking forward to working with the dynamic teens of Youth Engaged in Philanthropy!

"YEP is unique in that it truly puts power in the hands of youth. As a teenager, I had never been respected to the extent that I was in YEP at the DeKalb County Community Foundation. The foundation and the community trusted us, the youth, to make financial decisions of consequence. In fact, we actually developed assets not only in the youth of our community through grant allocations, but also in ourselves. YEP enhances confidence, leadership, creativity, and provides an environment which fosters passion and productivity like no other program I have encountered."

- Blair Wright, Illinois Prairie Community Foundation Intern
Illinois Wesleyan University '15
Student Senate Civic Engagement Commissioner

"I am enjoying assisting with IPCF’s newest program, ‘Youth Engaged in Philanthropy’. It offers a unique adventure to youth in which they will explore their own leadership styles, develop their desire for community service and civic engagement, investigate the mechanics of philanthropic foundations, and experience the subsequent rewards of investing in others. It is always so exciting to work alongside young people; they bring a creative energy that offers up an exhilarating array of possibilities!"

- Sandy McGhee, YEP Mentor
Illinois Prairie Community Foundation Volunteer

McLean County Diversity Project   c/o Jeffrey A. Schwartz   16043 Dorado Road Bloomington, IL 61705