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The Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) program, founded and funded by The George Foundation and in partnership with Fort Bend Forward, recently completed its 19th year of juniors and seniors from high schools across Fort Bend positively impacting our community through volunteerism.

The 175 students participating in this year's program were selected from almost 1,000 applicants and required to commit eight Saturdays to give their time and energy to service projects across Fort Bend County.

The students experienced a wide array of volunteer projects - enhancing public green space at Jones Creek Park, leading activities for children to promote STEM education at a County public library, providing sweat equity to local food pantries to organize and distribute food to those in need, and many other projects to support Fort Bend non profit organizations. At the conclusion of the YIP journey, students develop metrics to evaluate the impact of the non profit organizations they experienced and direct George Foundation grant dollars to support their efforts in the community.

In addition to a unique learning experience, YIP also offers participants who successfully complete the program the opportunity to apply for scholarships as a reward for their individual contributions to YIP. In 2016, over $152,000 in scholarships were awarded to 94 YIP recipients at a celebratory luncheon. Funding for the scholarships was a community-wide effort from local businesses, individual donors, and foundations.