Youth philanthropy program awards $17,177 to DeKalb County nonprofits

YEP members conducting a site visit to Shabbona's Flewellin Memorial Library

SYCAMORE – Youth Engaged in Philanthropy recently awarded $17,177 in youth impact grants to area nonprofits that provide services to residents in DeKalb County.

Thirteen community and nonprofit organizations received grants for various youth-serving projects and programs in DeKalb County.

“Our goal in YEP is to improve the quality of life for youth in DeKalb County, and I believe the grants we awarded this year do just that. These dollars support great causes in the short term and for the future,” student member and grants chair Riley Collins said in a news release. “I can’t wait to see how this year’s awarded money will soon bring many smiles through the programs and projects they support.”

2024 YEP grant recipients:

  • Barb Food Mart – $2,268 to buy hygiene products, bags and stickers for the Fresh Start Initiative at DeKalb High School.
  • Children’s Community Theatre – $1,650 to provide an opportunity for youth to participate in a live theater “Mary Poppins Jr.” performance.
  • DeKalb County Community Gardens – $300 to buy art and building supplies to create a youth collaborative garden mural.
  • DeKalb School District 428 – $1,858 to buy supplies for a brain architecture game to help school staff and educators better understand youth brain development.
  • DeKalb Police Department – $1,250 to buy art supplies, games and other materials needed for the summer Fun Jam in the Park events.
  • Flewellin Memorial Library – $1,650 to support a summer reading program, “Read Renew Repeat,” for youth in the community.
  • Family Service Agency – $1,702 to provide program supplies, transportation and materials for a youth summer camp.
  • Genoa Township Park District – $800 to buy Nerf Battle supplies for community youth events.
  • Genoa-Kingston School District 424 – $774 to support media equipment purchases for G-K communication high school interns to use as they learn and grow in the field.
  • Kishwaukee Family YMCA – $1,000 to buy a Gaga ball pit and a large portable Bluetooth speaker for family events, roller skating and other youth events. The grant excludes requested sand and balls.
  • Neighbors’ House – $1,300 to buy books, learning games and other educational materials used in the After School Kids Club.
  • Opportunity DeKalb – $1,000 to support a youth opportunity in which they can develop entrepreneurial skills.
  • RAMP – $1,625 to fund RAMP’s Fast Track and Project SEARCH program supplies and workbooks.

As a youth-led committee of the DeKalb County Community Foundation, YEP exists to familiarize high school students in DeKalb County with local nonprofits, grantmaking and philanthropy. The program builds up to a final meeting at which members are responsible for reviewing grant applications and distributing more than $14,000 into the community.

After recommendations are determined, the organization presents its grant decisions to the DCCF board of directors for final approval. This year’s YEP committee comprises 80 high school students from 10 schools in DeKalb County.

Learn more about Youth Engaged in Philanthropy at or contact YEP staff adviser Noah Nordbrock at 815-748-5383 or

YEP distributing youth impact grants during its May 2024 meeting
YEP grants chair Riley Collins leading April 2024 meeting's funding recommendations discussion
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