YIP YIP Hooray!


YIP scholarship recipients and supporters at the 2014 Annual Investment in Youth Luncheon.

YIP scholarship recipients and supporters at the 2014 Annual Investment in Youth Luncheon.

By Zeenat Kassam Mitha | Photos by Mary Favre, Liz Furman and Brenda Perry.

Almost 725 people filled the banquet room at Safari Texas on April 9th at the Annual Investment in Youth Luncheon, where not a dry eye was in sight. When The Excellence in Community Service Award Recipient, Makayla Mueller, of Dulles High School, read her winning essay, you could have heard a fork drop.

“There was a room full of support for these students, and they could feel it,” said Dee Koch, Youth In Philanthropy (YIP) Coordinating Committee Member and Grant Officer of The George Foundation.

Youth In Philanthropy collected over $90,000 in scholarship money this year and announced the recipients at the luncheon. The students receiving the scholarships were from Calvary Episcopal College Prep, Fort Bend ISD, Lamar Consolidated ISD, Needville ISD and Stafford Municipal School District. This is up from last year’s scholarship fund of $46,000.

The YIP Program has been in existence for 17 years, and each year cultivates student leadership allowing students to develop and test different skill sets while making a difference in their community. YIP is comprised of Fort Bend County junior and senior high school students. It provides them the opportunity to experience how volunteerism and philanthropy coexist to serve their community. The selected students are part of a journey to strengthen their connections with their community and each other. The YIP Team participates in site visits and volunteer projects with area nonprofit organizations to increase their knowledge of the Fort Bend County nonprofit sector. The YIP students also meet and hear from some of Fort Bend County’s most inspiring leaders from business, the nonprofit sector and the community-at-large.

Dr. Thomas Randle, Lamar Consolidated ISD; Keri Schmidt, Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce; Charles Dupre, Fort Bend ISD; Dee Koch, The George Foundation; Curtis Rhodes, Needville ISD and Dr. Malcolm Smith, Calvary Episcopal College Prep.

Dr. Thomas Randle, Lamar Consolidated ISD; Keri Schmidt, Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce; Charles Dupre, Fort Bend ISD; Dee Koch, The George Foundation; Curtis Rhodes, Needville ISD and Dr. Malcolm Smith, Calvary Episcopal College Prep.

“At the conclusion of the school year, with their new knowledge and understanding of the community and the many organizations providing services to its residents, the YIP Team evaluates local charities and puts philanthropy into action by awarding monetary grants to participating nonprofits,” said Koch.

The students met one Saturday each month from 9 am to 3 pm for six consecutive months, including an orientation and an evaluation meeting.

In her speech, Koch thanked the nonprofit organizations, the district liaisons, community volunteers and all of the supporters who assisted in YIP’s success. She also recognized the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce CEO Keri Schmidt for her forward thinking leadership role and thanked her team for the organization of all the sessions.

“We are very proud to partner with the George Foundation in presenting the YIP Program. Working with the YIP students, we are able to shape the future of philanthropy in Fort Bend County,” said Schmidt.

Chris Breaux and Aaron Clark served as the luncheon’s emcees.

Chris Breaux and Aaron Clark served as the luncheon’s emcees.

This past year, there were 391 applications for YIP of which 165 students were selected from 20 high school campuses in Fort Bend. Together, the students provided a total of 7,680 volunteer hours. Each YIP Team member worked hand in hand alongside community volunteers completing volunteer projects submitted by Fort Bend’s nonprofit sector.

It is a well-known fact that nonprofits are the heart of YIP. The quality resources that the nonprofit sector offer is seen as one of the merits to Fort Bend county.

“The response from the community has been overwhelming for YIP,” stated Schmidt. “We are proud to say that 67 scholarships are being distributed to students this year.”

Congratulations to all of the students and supporters who were part of this heartfelt initiative in assisting the community-at-large. Investing in the lives of students today builds a better future for all of those who will be a part of tomorrow.

For more information on YIP or how to get involved or provide support, contact YIP@thegeorgefoundation.org.


Dee Koch with The Excellence in Community Service Award recipient Makayla Mueller of Dulles High School.

Dee Koch with The Excellence in Community Service Award recipient Makayla Mueller of Dulles High School.

Youth In Philanthropy 2014 Scholarship Recipients

B ased on their volunteer efforts throughout the Youth In Philanthropy year and with their description of their volunteer experiences through an essay, college scholarships were awarded to the following YIP students in 2014:

Excellence in Community Service

$5,000 was awarded to: Makayla Mueller

Distinguished Community Service

$2,500 was awarded to 11 students:

Jessica Amores, Shae Blazier, Juan Buena, Mily Fulgencio, Molly Huynh, Justin Martin, Carolyn Nguyen, Denalex Orakwue, Malik Rice, Brandy Schochler and Marco Serrano.

Sponsor-Titled or Named Scholarships

$1,250 was awarded to 32 students:

Dubem Agu, Houston Averiett, Paris Ballard, Joshua Brooks, Aldoluis Cantu, Galia Davis, KeAnna Hampton, Savannah Howard, Zaeena Mehreen Jan, Shelby Kasberger, Jacob Khan, Raven Krobot, Aleah Legaux, Melisa Lopez, Jovany Medina, McKenna Mitchell, Clark Morgan, Isabel Muratalla, Kyra Del Olmo, Anjanae Owens, Patrick Pecson, Bryan Poole, Adriana Quick, Hannah Richey, Jeremy Sandil, Danielle Saucedo, Jennifer Torres, Andy Tran, Isaiah Villaloboz, Sabrina Volpato, Kiana Woods and Tim Young, Jr.

Community Service Scholarships

$750 awarded to 23 students:

Abigail Adaramola, Nicole Aquino, Malachi Connor, Mikhail D’Mello, Muhibat  Edunjobi, Melissa Grimaldo, Steffi Kaithackal, Divya Kamnani, Alyssa Kuykendall, Morayo Lawal, John LeMaire, Nnamdi Madu, Chan’Cellore Makanjuola, Ejeh (E. J.) Okorafor, Erica Onuh, Christian Osagiede, Emmanuel Osikpa, Melissa Phan, Alyssa Rodriguez, Dawn Sajan, Nelson Santibanes, Keyon Tolbert and Paul Varghese.