As a young man, YAP founder and retired CEO Tom Jeffers proudly accepted the Teacher of the Year award in the Pennsylvania public school where he taught science. He left teaching, but his belief in educational opportunities for everyone-regardless of their circumstances- strongly influences YAP's work with youth and families.
Today, the Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund for Continuing Education (YAP's scholarship program) reflects Tom's vision and leadership. Since he founded YAP in 1975, Tom's dream was to provide educational assistance for youth and parents served by YAP. He envisioned assistance not generally covered by traditional scholarships such as tools for apprenticeship programs, books, computers and other needs.
Begun in 2004, the Endowment Fund was renamed in Tom's honor at a ceremony earlier this year. For YAP, as with many non-profits, funding is often a problem for even the most worthy projects.
"Our staff found a glimmer of hope and a dime in their pockets to make the YAP Endowment Fund what it is today," says David White, President of the Endowment Fund.
YAP's agency-wide dedication to families in need is evidenced by employees' substantial voluntary contributions and numerous fundraising events to benefit the scholarship program. To date, the Endowment Fund has awarded 63 scholarships; 17 have been awarded this year and 8 are pending.
Tom's career was dedicated to increasing opportunities for the most disadvantaged individuals in often the most impoverished communities by strengthening community capacity. The Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund for continuing education is in honor of his legacy of changing biographies.
Meet our scholarship recipients and learn more about the Youth Endowment Fund.