About YEP

Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP)

Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) is a program in which 20 to 25 high school students allocate grant funds to local youth-focused initiatives. YEP builds leadership and teamwork skills while engaging participants in a unique, philanthropic experience. The 2014 – 2015 school year marks the second year for YEP. and we are very proud of the work these young people are doing!

Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) Mission: As a part of our Community’s youth, we strive to connect those who care about youth with the monetary means necessary to pursue their vision.

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Donate now to the new Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) Endowment to make the unique leadership and teamwork experiences of YEP available to teens for years to come.


YEP mentor, Blair Wright, was recently interviewed on WGLT. Click here to listen to Blair’s recap of YEP’s inaugural grant round process.


YEP grant recipients, click here for the Final Report to be submitted as outlined in your organization’s Grant Agreement.

YEP Member Justin Bean – of the inaugural YEP cohort, 2013-2014 – writes:

“When I tell people that I am involved in ‘YEP’, the first thing people ask me is, ‘What is YEP?’.

YEP stands for Youth Engaged in Philanthropy. Philanthropy is defined as an unselfish concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, time, and work. Pretty much, philanthropy is helping others in society and improving human welfare with the help of donations and volunteers. YEP is sponsored by the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation. YEP is made up of 22 area high school aged students mostly juniors and seniors.

This is YEP’s first year and it’s been an exciting one!

YEP is a great opportunity for young individuals in many ways. Through YEP, all of the members have learned how to write a grant application as well as, learn money management skills. Learning these skills at a young age will make us better citizens, and help us prepare for the future.

For me personally, YEP has taught me many things. I have learned to work better with others. Teamwork is built through team-bonding activities at each meeting. We even ventured out to Lake Bloomington for a team building day.

Because of YEP I also have learned how to talk in front of groups of people and overcome my fear of public speaking. At first I was shy and didn’t want to speak in front of people, but by participating at each meeting, I have gained confidence to do so.

YEP has also helped me learn how to be better organized, by taking notes at the meetings and keeping the minutes together from each meeting. Without a doubt, my writing and communication skills have improved because of YEP.

YEP is not only important to myself and the other YEP members. It is important to our communities.

Our YEP philanthropy group’s main purpose is to strive to help those who focus on helping today’s youth and who are in need of financial assistance.

We will do so by distributing $10,000 to local organizations that are involved in the development of youth. These potential grant recipients may benefit youth directly or indirectly. This will help individual groups with their community improvement programs by providing them with needed funds. We recently completed accepting applications from those who are interested in applying for funding.

I am really honored to have been chosen to participate in this group.

It’s my personal goal to eventually apply what I am learning from my experiences at YEP by developing an outreach program to help those on Native American Reservations.

Blair Wright
YEP Development Assistant
Cell: (815) 970-7147
Sandy McGhee
YEP Program Mentor
Cell: (309) 552-0905
Kathi Davis
Associate Program Director
Office: (309) 662-4477