December 2018

Thank you for taking the time to read about YEP's current status! Youth Engaged in Philanthropy has been busy with the annual grant cycle and a variety of different projects. This year's cohort is 22 members, with approximately half of the members being new members. The other half are veteran members who have come back for a second or third year. In addition to new YEP members, we also have new mentor Amanda Cole, who is also a librarian at St. Mary's Elementary School. As you can see, this year so far has been exciting, especially since the 2018-2019 grant cycle had a total of 22 grant proposals totaling over $58,000! 

Prior to the grant application opening, the Grant Proposal Committee made some changes to the application to put more of a priority to applications with youth assisting. This change was made to promote other youth getting involved in their organizations as well.
 
Leading up to November, YEP was busy trying to promote the upcoming grant cycle in order to hopefully reach nonprofit organizations that need it the most and can create a lasting positive impact in the community. YEP members were tasked with connecting with classrooms, after-school programs and clubs at local high schools to spread the word.
 
L-R: Mentor Amanda Cole, volunteer Kathy Sawyer, YEP members Maddison, Parker, Divya and Grant with IPCF Executive Director Greg Meyer at the IPCF luncheon
To reach other powerful members of the community, some YEP representatives attended the IPCF luncheon to network with other philanthropists in the community. At the luncheon, they were able to meet other local organizations and bring more awareness to the amazing things that YEP has done.
 
The Social Media Committee was also active in posting on YEP's Facebook page to reach a broader audience. With this outreach effort, YEP was able to receive more grant proposals than previous years, which hopefully means that the grants this year will benefit a wider group of youth!
 
In order to create better camaraderie amongst the members, YEP did the Colors activity (similar to a Myer-Briggs personality test). With the outcome of the activity, YEP members were better able to understand and collaborate with each other. YEP has also attended all IPCF board meetings, which are run by experienced members of the community. At these meetings, YEP has looked to them as a model to be a more efficient and effective organization. With these activities, YEP prepared for the challenging task of grant apportioning.
 
With all the hard work put in, finally the grant applications came in. At the most recent November meeting, YEP faced the challenge of deciding how to split the anonymous donation of $10,000 among the organizations. YEP genuinely enjoyed learning about all of these nonprofit organizations and their goals to help local youth! After much discussion and voting, YEP decided to award seven grants. After these grants are approved, the public will know which deserving nonprofit organizations are going to be awarded. This will be in our next newsletter, so stay tuned!

YEP member Abby at St. Mary's Fall Festival 
In addition to the grant cycle, YEP has been active with many other events
within our community at as well. Recently, YEP was represented at St. Mary's Fall Festival Chili Cook-Off, helping run games for the children. The proceeds from the event benefited the students at St. Mary's Elementary School in Bloomington.
 
Another place that YEP was represented at was the West Bloomington Active Garden, a past recipient of a YEP grant. On an August morning, YEP helped to meticulously remove weeds and tidy up the garden. With the help of many members of the community, this garden flourishes and is able to produce crop. All of the crop yields from the community garden are then available to people in need of healthy and fresh food.
 
YEP members Emma, Muskan and Divya at the Poverty Simulation. Not pictured: Rae Ana and Calis
YEP members also attended a Poverty Simulation held at the YWCA. In the simulation, participants were asked to play the role of someone with economic struggles. Then with this role, they went through the motions of a day and experienced many roadblocks, which is comparable to real life for people in those same financial situations. Through this experience, YEP members had a newfound perspective on other
people's lives that were vastly different from theirs.

While YEP is grateful for the anonymous donor who has funded YEP for the past six years, YEP wants to ensure its sustainability in the future by building its endowment fund. As a part of YEP's desire to improve, YEP did a Giving Tuesday campaign through email and social media. Through the campaign, YEP was able to raise nearly $400 of the $4,000 fundraising goal this year.
 
YEP asks for your kind help in reaching this goal! Donations can be submitted through the  YEP website  or mailed as a check written to Illinois Prairie Community Foundation with YEP in the memo line. YEP is committed to achieving this goal so that in the future we can hopefully make a positive impact on even more youth in the community!
 
As you can see, we have been very busy and are still working toward our goals! If you wish to help us with our endowment, we are thankful for your donations. Even a "like" on our  Facebook page  helps support us. Everyone in YEP is grateful for your continued support! 
 
I personally have been in YEP for two years now, and I've continued to support this organization because I've felt that we have made a genuine positive impact on the community. My fellow members would agree that YEP is a cause worth supporting, and we wouldn't ask for your support if we didn't truly believe in the organization ourselves!

With thanks, 

Calis Lim 
Youth Engaged in Philanthropy Member
Illinois Prairie Community Foundation
309-662-4477 | mevans@ilprairiecf.org | www.ilprairiecf.org

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