Viraat Goel – (2014-2015)

"Being a part of YEP has been an incredibly enriching experience that has taught me that, even as youth, we have the power to affect change in our community. YEP has enabled me to explore how philanthropy starts not with money but instead with a mindset and that giving back to one’s community should start young. Furthermore, I have witnessed how a diversity of opinions and experiences, though seemingly contrary to quick decision-making, actually serves to check biases and construct a more objective outlook on matters (i.e. grant applications). YEP’s excursion into fundraising also imparted to me an understanding of how the financial logistics behind philanthropic groups function, how to be professional in asking donors for contributions and cater to their interests, being transparent, and how crucial it is to become a self-sufficient organization. On the grant evaluation end of things, it struck me how careful one must be in parsing grant applications and follow-up reports for discrepancies as well as how important it can be to maintain communication between grant donors and recipients. These experiences were beneficial because they gave me a reworked perspective on the opportunities available in the community for youth to get involved and help. Rather than simply recognize the presence of a problem, I could begin to reason through how we might tackle it. YEP also helped do away with incorrect perceptions of what philanthropy was and who did it, and taught me how to budget more time towards paying attention to happenings in the community. Thus, being a part of YEP has given me skills that I will be able to employ throughout my life as an active citizen."

Kylie Cottone – (2013-2015)

"YEP has helped me build leadership and communication skills. Facilitating meetings, acting as committee chair, compromising to come up with a unanimous decision, and persuading community leaders to donate are all valuable experiences that will help me in college and my future. Networking with community leaders was inspiring, as well. It makes me think about how I will impact my community in the future. Also, volunteer events that allowed me to interact with different people helped me see the wide range of issues that exist. The only thing I could think to improve on is to participate in more volunteer opportunities. Overall, my experience in YEP has been incredibly beneficial and enjoyable."

Haley Carte – (2013-2015)

YEP was an awesome experience for me! I loved getting to meet kids from all different high schools in our area and impacting lots of people's lives. I took away some business knowledge like how to run a formal meeting, what an endowment fund is, and so on. I also learned that being a leader isn't so scary because I got lots of practice. I really loved the Ropes course at the beginning of the year because it allowed all of us to bond right away. I also enjoyed YEP because it provides such a different experience than most service clubs do. I don't know any other group that would trust a bunch of teenagers with $10,000! YEP was an experience I'll never forget! Thanks!"

Ashlyn Gramm – (2013-2014)

"YEP was definitely an experience of a lifetime... I didn't really know what to expect when I was coming into it, but I can most assuredly say that the experiences I had exceeded anything I could have guessed.  YEP opened my eyes to how much groups in our community are working to improve the lives of those around them--particularly those of youth.  It was a pleasure getting to know and work together with my other YEP members.  I know that future members will have the same great experience I had, and I believe that the drive YEP has instilled in all of us will be carried through the rest of our lives."