NEMYF was established in August 2001 to offer 11th and 12th graders in Northeast Mississippi the opportunity to serve on a youth-directed foundation that offers leadership opportunities and the chance to learn about philanthropy and community involvement. Currently completing its tenth year, the board consists of 48 students from 14 counties and 23 high schools. NEMYF has an endowment fund -- money totally raised by the students -- that currently stands at more than $72,000!
During the fall semester, students focus some of their energy on fundraising to build the endowment. Then in the spring the fun begins! The students submit grant ideas from their home counties, vote on which grants to fund, organize a press conference, and announce how they spent the earnings from their endowment. In 2003, board members awarded their first grants, totaling almost $1,100. By December 2011, NEMYF had increased their endowment to almost $73,000, making its 2012 grant allocation almost $3,000.
Other activities include:
- Kicking off the year in September with a retreat at Ole Miss Outdoors / Rebel Challenge in Oxford
- Organizing a Thanksgiving meal or a food drive for families in need in their home counties
- Organizing a Christmas donation of toys and gifts to local charities that serve children
- Speaking to high school classes and showing a Youtube video to recruit new members
- Creating their own logos, t-shirts, and brochures
- Learning about giving back, helping others, and making a difference
- Meeting new friends from throughout the region
- Having a lot of fun!