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In 2004, YAP started our Youth Endowment Fund. The purpose of the fund is to support our youth and families in pursuing college or vocational schools to advance their skills and economic opportunities. The Endowment began awarding scholarships in 2007. Since its inception, YAP staff have raised over $1 million for the Endowment and awarded over nearly 200 scholarships. Over 300 YAP employees contribute to this fund through weekly payroll deductions.
In 2014, the fund was renamed the Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund for Continuing Education in honor of YAP's founder.
Two months after she began working with Tierra Williams, her YAP Advocate, career coach Yadirra Ramos recommended her for a YAP Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund for Continuing Education scholarship.
Ramos helped Williams with her resume, and it wasn’t long before the young mom was working.
“I was able to get a job very quick through the program,” she wrote in her scholarship application.
When Sydney Washington applied for and learned that she would receive a YAP Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund for Continuing Education scholarship a year ago, she had already made great strides at turning her life around. She had been getting services from her YAP Advocate, career coach Yadirra Ramos.
“I was introduced to YAP and all the wonderful people in it, through my two younger sisters who were already in the program. I had just gotten out of a really bad situation and I needed help,” she said.
Ramos empowered her with practical life tools and guidance to help her see life beyond where she was.
For Neha Manoj, YAP has been provided direction and other tools to help her as she takes steps towards her goal of becoming a doctor.
“The program has provided me with information and help to do the things I needed to do, like finding a job and volunteering opportunities,” she wrote in her application for the scholarship. “My main goal right now is to get into medical school, but there are many smaller goals along the way, some of them being finding a job that would give me medical experience and graduating earlier.”
When Moises Marquez met his WIOA YAP Advocate and career coach Eric Brown, all he wanted was a job. But to get started, Brown told Marquez he needed to start with the basics.
Marquez said that’s exactly what he got, crediting Brown with being “very helpful with gas cards, information on jobs, helping me fill out applications… build my resume,” and saying he continuously kept him “thinking about my future as well as my goals.”
Marquez applied for a YAP Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund for Continuing Education scholarship to attend barber school at Expertise beginning in spring 2019
When Chardanae Thomas achieves her goal of being an aesthetician and business owner, she will be more than prepared. With help from Clark County, Nevada YAP, she has begun her education at Expertise Cosmetology Institute where she is learning as much as she can about skin and how to care for it.
“I am very intrigued with skin care and it makes me happy when I am able to help others with problems they may have with their skin. My aspiration in life is to own multiple businesses, one of them being a beauty salon,” she said. “I love to make and care for my skin as well as help others do the same. A big step to owning my beauty salon is to graduate from school and to get the right credentials to succeed.”
Before Bridger Adams connected with YAP, the best he hoped for from life was a job that would not bore him.
Things changed very soon after he was connected to Clark County YAP’s workforce development program.
“Bridger’s face lit up with pure joy, just talking about what he wants to do. Sitting there speaking with him, I could imagine how much better he would feel when he actually completed his career choices,” Hassell said.
Cierra Gennes was 17 with a two-year-old daughter and had recently given birth to a baby boy when she was enrolled in Clark County YAP’s WIOA program five years ago. She had not finished high school, didn’t have a GED and desperately needed a job. “I worked with my job coach on resumes and I also attended training classes. YAP helped me get my first job which was at Smoothie King,” she said.
As a high school freshman, Bailey Washington knew she wanted success but had no idea how to get on the road to take her there. Washington’s school social worker saw her struggling with life challenges and connected her to YAP.
“I cannot imagine where and what I would be if I continued on the path I was on. I believe I am a totally new person,” Washington said.
Washington worked with Advocate, YAP Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) career coach Brittany Brown who connected her to jobs at Castaways Resale and Goodwill and spent time helping her identify and begin to realize her longtime career goals. MORE
Aisha Phillips knows firsthand how the YAP wraparound model works to give families voice and choice in designing a plan for helping children succeed. She was connected to YAP because of her son’s troubles at school.
“He received a citation for fighting,” she said.
The family began working with YAP Advocate Devonte Bess. Within weeks, Phillips began seeing a change in her son. His behavior changed at school and his attitude at home improved, too. MORE
Less than two years ago, life for Michelle Labrecque was more than 100 percent about her children and managing their complex health and developmental challenges. To say she was overwhelmed would be an understatement.
“[My son] has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit- hyperactivity disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, oppositional defiance disorder as well as specific learning disabilities in math and written expression. [My daughter] has been diagnosed with disruptive mood dysregulation disorder and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.”
Michelle tried intensive in-home therapy from multiple providers, with no improvement and at times, “devastating consequences.”
Ashlee Freed of Mercer, PA, has gone through a lot throughout her entire life. Ashlee was adopted at six years old by the Freed family. She quickly assimilated into her new family and reciprocated their love and respect toward her. Ashlee was always a leader in her family, assisting her younger siblings with homework or chores, resolving disagreements between siblings, and helping her mother with simple tasks around the house.
This past year, Ashlee experienced something that tested her strength, capability and compassion more than ever. She lost her biggest cheerleader and best friend, her adopted mother, Stephenie, to Leukemia. While her entire family was coping with the loss of their mother, wife, sister, and the glue that kept them together and afloat, Ashlee found a way to balance mourning and taking on her mother’s responsibilities. Ashlee made sure that her younger brother logged onto Cyber School, all seven family members had dinner, the animals were fed, bills were paid by her father, and resources were contacted so the family could sustain itself. The Freed family has two dogs, six puppies, twelve cats and kittens, three goats, and recently sold two alpacas. Ashlee is responsible for their care, ensuring they are fed, groomed, vetted, and loved.
After nearly a year of being the strength and support her family required, Ashlee was also ready to put herself first, for the first time in her life. Ashlee has a passion and a talent for caring for animals. She has served as a volunteer with various animal support organizations and has now chosen to pursue a career in this field as a pet groomer. To support her pursuit, Ashlee applied for and recently received a scholarship through the Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. Tom Jeffers Endowment Fund to help pay for educational expenses.