Nearly 200 students and advisors representing most of the 31 Youth Empowerment Project chapters across southern Missouri gathered for an annual conference at Drury University today, which featured inspirational words and ideas and the unveiling of the new YEP website.
The website – www.yepozarks.org – is now live, but development work on it continues as each YEP chapter will get more training to develop its own page and submit calendar items at a November webinar. In the meantime, its features include resources for students and advisors, photos of the chapters’ activities and basics like the tenets of YEP.
Johan Mostert, a professor of community psychology at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, gave the keynote remarks urging the YEP students to live the meaning of the word “philanthropy,” which translates from its Latin roots to essentially “loving humanity.”
“Love has to be put into action and that action is service,” said Dr. Mostert, a native of South Africa. “I want to challenge you to become social entrepreneurs and you’ll make a magnificent difference in your communities.”
A video of Dr. Mostert’s remarks will be posted soon on the new YEP website. Springfield Public Radio stationKSMU will air a report about the YEP as part of its “Making a Difference” series on Nov. 12.
CFO Executive Vice President Julie Leeth also encouraged the YEP students to consider applying for the upcoming Conco Community Arts and Student Wellness grants, which are due Friday, Oct. 29. Each program has $10,000 available for grants ranging from $500 to $1,500 for student-led arts and wellness projects.
During two sets of breakout sessions, the students from exchanged ideas on topics including fundraising, community service, soliciting grant applications and making grant selections. A number of creative fundraising ideas were discussed, ranging from wrestling in Gainesville to a middle-school prom in Seymour.