Dozens of youth once enrolled in a community-based alternative to juvenile incarceration and some of their parents are benefitting from a unique scholarship program. Some recipients have graduated or are enrolled in two- or four-year colleges. Others have used their scholarships to pursue training for building trades, creative endeavors, service jobs or other careers.
Named for its founder, the Youth Advocate Programs, (YAP) Inc. Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund for Continuing Education scholarship is a $1,000 award specifically established for eligible youth and parents who are enrolled in or have been served by the nonprofit.
“YAP established the Endowment Fund in 2007 as an additional tool to support our youths’ and families’ hopes and dreams of pursuing college or vocational schools to advance their career goals and economic opportunities,” said Endowment Scholarship President and YAP Senior Executive Gary Ivory. “one of the beauties of the scholarship is that it’s funded largely by YAP staff who are already invested in the youth and families we serve. We believe in young people and their families and want to see them succeed.”
YAP matches youth with paid mentor-Advocates who live in the same neighborhoods as the families the nonprofit serves. These Advocates help YAP youth identify their individual strengths and working with them, empower them by helping them build individual toolkits with resources they need to achieve their goals. Meantime, YAP also works with the youths’ family members to help them identify their strengths and the tools they need to ensure that there’s a sound foundation for them and their children for years to come.
YAP is in 100 communities in 23 states (including Washington, DC) and is working on a strategy to scale and expand its programs to serve more youth and families in other U.S. cities.
The Endowment Fund has raised more than $1 million and continues to grow as YAP awards scholarships. To donate to the fund and read about some of those who are benefitting from the awards, please visit our Endowment Page.