News: Youth Empowered Philanthropy Grants $10,000 to Local Nonprofits

Youth Empowered Philanthropy (YEP), a leadership initiative of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, is completing its second year. This program exists to empower youth to make decisions with real funding to create a measurable impact in Allen County. The youth pod consists of twenty High School students from Canterbury High School and Fort Wayne Community Schools. Students meet once a 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 thanks to the generosity of the Joyce Schlatter Fund at the Community Foundation. The Journal Gazette named Mrs. Schlatter the newspaper’s 1992 Citizen of the Year, citing her as “one of Fort Wayne’s quiet, but forceful, crusaders.”

Students received grant applications from 71 Allen County-based nonprofit organizations totaling $290,000 in requests. The students then 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

Positive Resource Connection, $4,000
Cass Housing, $3,000
Hear Care, $3,000

“To watch the YEP students throughout the year learn and grow has been an amazing experience. They truly care about our community and want to make an impact,” said Kiley Tate-Potts, Director of Philanthropic Services. “These students are the next generation of philanthropists, and I am excited to see how they will take what they have learned in this program and continue making a difference in our community.”

On top of the grantmaking process, students are completing volunteer hours. A requirement of the program is for students to evaluate volunteer requests and pick programs to volunteer for that are meaningful to them. Reflecting on the process, students talked about how much they had learned about public speaking, small group communication, negotiation skills, critical thinking, and putting the group’s mission at the center of their decision-making process. Students also discussed their new awareness of community needs and challenges and the amazing number and quality of local nonprofit organizations doing impactful work in our community.

More information can be found at, calling 260-426-4083, or

Youth Empowered Philanthropy (YEP) empowers youth to make real decisions, with real money that create 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. Youth Empowered Philanthropy, a youth pod for Allen County, was launched by the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne in 2020.

During 2022 the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne is celebrating 100 years of serving Allen County as a public charitable foundation. The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne does three things: help people make their charitable giving more impactful, connect funding to nonprofits through effective grantmaking, and provide leadership to address community needs to improve quality of life. Every day we connect people and resources to build a more vibrant community. As of December 31, 2021, the Community Foundation held charitable assets of approximately $222 million and awarded more than $8.1 million in charitable grants and scholarships throughout the same year. Since its formation in 1922, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $175 million in charitable grants.