Scholarships support program participants and their families with school and job training
Harrisburg, Pa. – Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. is proud to announce 29 former program participants or their guardians received Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund for Continuing Education Scholarships in 2021. The special scholarship is in the amount of $1,000 that can be used towards school and job training costs or in the form of a laptop computer. Program participants can reapply annually based on need.
YAP is a national nonprofit that provides community-based services in 32 states and the District of Columbia as an alternative to youth incarceration, group homes, behavioral health facilities or other congregate care, and neighborhood violence. Scholarship recipients are program participants and their guardians who have received YAP's trauma-informed wraparound and/or behavioral health services.
“These scholarships are vital tools to helping YAP program participants and their parents and guardians achieve their individual and family goals to improve their employment, housing opportunities and overall livelihoods,” said YAP President Gary Ivory. “We congratulate our scholarship recipients and are extremely appreciative of our employees who voluntarily donate to the endowment fund, which carries out the mission and honors the memory of our beloved founder Tom Jeffers.”
Established by YAP founder Tom Jeffers, before his death, the scholarship endowment fund continues primarily through generous weekly donations by employees through payroll deductions. Annually, employees give over $15,000 to the endowment fund. YAP Advocates, behavioral health staff, and other frontline employees invite current and former program participants and their families to apply for scholarships as they pursue their educational and vocational goals.
Below are some excerpts from the application essays of our 2021 award recipients:
“I was accepted to Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. I would not be in the place in my life if my mom didn’t search out a place to help her and me to succeed in life. Thank you to all my service people.” - Gunner
“I was offered to be paroled and granted to be in the YAP program for six months. My mentor/[YAP Advocate] Diane showed me a new way of life and coping mechanisms to deal with personal problems at home and at work.” - Heather
"I am an autistic college student… I’ve been working on goals with my TSS Ms. Sara. It [the scholarship] helps me when I need to get books for class or something to help me keep doing the hard work… Thank you for helping me get through college and to keep my grades up.” - Ethan
“I was going through insecurity issues, trust issues, emotional insecurities, and feeling isolated in my current environment at the time. Through behavioral modification program, group and individual therapy and being mentored, I have matured and acquired self-confidence. I have since gained motivation to be a better person and encourage others to do the same.” - Brajon
For more information about the Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund for Continuing Education Scholarships or YAP, visit yapinc.org.