YEP Mentors

Sandy McGhee (YEP Mentor) says, “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!”

Prior to retirement a year ago, Sandy served as a University of Illinois Educator in McLean County Extension, working with the traditional 4-H youth program which included a countywide 4-H teen leadership program, and working with the urban 4-H youth program which included two out-of-school-time multicultural enrichment programs: UNITY Community Center, and Tech Wizards.

Sandy began her career in Extension 18 years earlier, as McLean County program coordinator of the Family Nutrition Program in McLean County.   Other early work in Extension included facilitation of workshops focusing on workforce development and consumer economic skills, and building awareness of the challenges of living with limited means and resources.

She is a recipient of the Leadership McLean County Outstanding Alumni Award, the Points of Light Award, the University of Illinois Paraprofessional Outstanding/Innovative Program Award and the McLean County Board of Health’s Public Health Award/Certificate of Achievement.

After receiving her bachelor of science in elementary education from Illinois State University, she spent several years teaching fifth/sixth grade. Years later she obtained her master’s degree in education through the University of Illinois.  She holds a private pilot’s license and scuba diving certification.

A native of Woodford County, she and her husband Carl (later deceased) moved to McLean County and there raised four children. Now married to Ken Yanzy, she resides in rural Bloomington.



Blair Wright (IPCF Intern: YEP Development) is a sophomore at Illinois Wesleyan University where she is studying Psychology with a Pre-Medicine Concentration.  She is originally from Sandwich, IL, where she participated in and helped to develop a similar Youth Engaged in Philanthropy program for her county.  Blair now serves as the Civic Engagement Commissioner for the IWU Student Senate where she continues to spread her passion for creating meaningful change in her community.  

I can’t wait for the YEP initiative to take off in Bloomington-Normal!  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—the foundation and the community trusted us [the youth] to make substantial financial decisions; we 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.”


Kathi Davis
Associate Program Director
Office: (309) 662-4477
Sandy McGhee
YEP Program Mentor
Cell: (309) 532-0905
Blair Wright
YEP Development Assistant
Cell: (815) 970-7147