Youth Empowered Philanthropy

Youth Empowered Philanthropy (YEP), empowers youth to make real decisions, with real money that creates a real impact in Allen County. YEP strives to make our community a more vibrant place to live, work and play while inspiring philanthropy as a habit for future generations.

Applications for the 2020-2021 school year are closed.

The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne is proud to launch Youth Empowered Philanthropy, a youth pod for Allen County. Participants will give back to their community through collaborating on service projects and implementing a grant application system for local nonprofits to give away real money!

The YEP Class of 2020-2021 started meeting in October of 2020. The YEP class is made up of  10 high school students.

Participants: Maeren Jellison, Edward Sun, Annalyse  King, Josselyn Ortiz, Vonnia Anwar, Olivia Hamilton, Afia Zeeshan, Megan True, Zoraiya Limzerwala, and Ryan Lucas Valcarcel

Why Should You Join?

  • To develop soft skills such as leadership, public speaking, critical thinking and decision making.
  • To build relationships with peers and the nonprofit community.
  • To become more aware of community needs and challenges and learn how to address community needs by serving and giving back to your community.
  • To learn about philanthropy and what it means to be a philanthropist.
  • To serve as community resources and leaders through real decisions, real money, and real impact.


  • For the 2020-2021 school year, you must be a Sophomore or Junior.
  • Be in good academic and behavioral standing.
  • Able to attend a 2-hour virtual meeting once a month (schedule to follow).
  • Available to volunteer for occasional service projects determined by YEP members.

When you click apply now you will be directed to CFGFW’s online grant portal. In order to apply for a YEP grant, you will need to make an account on CFGFW’s online grant portal. 

The 2020-2021 YEP Cohort consisted of ten students from Canterbury High School who met virtually every month to learn about the philanthropic world, active nonprofit organizations in Allen County, and valuable leadership skills.

YEP was provided with $10,000 to use for grants due to the generosity of the Joyce Schlatter Fund at the Community Foundation. Students received grant applications from 45 Allen County-based nonprofit organizations. The students reviewed and made notes on each application, placed follow-up phone calls and emails, and conducted site visits. Based on the information they received, students worked as a group to decide which organizations to fund and how much funding to grant them. The organizations the group chose were

  • Joseph Missions ($3,500)
  • Out of a Jam ($3,000)
  • Lexi’s Voice ($1,200)
  • Gigi’s Playhouse ($2,300).

On top of the grantmaking process, students are working on collectively completing 80 hours of volunteer time between the Impact Center, Science Central, Habitat for Humanity, St. Joseph Missions, and Lexi’s Voice.

If you have any questions regarding YEP, please email Kiley Tate-Potts at

YEP teaches students about philanthropy and the impact they can have on their community while exposing them to the nonprofit world. Gifts made to YEP will supplement the students grantmaking which allows students the opportunity to make real decisions with real dollars that create real impact in our community.

© 2021 Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne