One of the greatest joys in neighborhood development work is seeing young leaders growing up to take positions of influence and responsibility in the community.  This summer a large number of our emerging leaders (YEP’s) were thrust into positions of significant responsibility that stretched their abilities and tested their faith.  They worked as farmers with McLaughlin Grows Farm, as camp leaders with CATCH Camp, as crew leaders with Royal Edge (our new and improved lawn care social enterprise!), lot beautification under the direction of Sprinkler Works, and with our Home Rehab and Construction program at our current “home redemption project” on 4th street. The internships have ended, they are exhausted.  And have significantly matured.

We needed your help.  We had the work for the kids.  We had the staff to train and supervise them.  What we needed from you was money to pay the kids for their work, and you didn’t let us down. Because of your support, the summer was a success. YEP’s not only learned new skills while working summer jobs within the community, they also represented Muskegon as ambassadors to the multiple volunteer groups who partnered with us over the summer. Each group left having learned something new about Muskegon and its core-city neighborhoods because of the time spent working alongside our young leaders.

Due to the success of the “on job trainings” that the YEP’s completed and the enthusiasm from both the YEP’s and our neighbors, in 2017-18 Community enCompass will be offering more YEP Work experience opportunities for high school youth, YEAR-AROUND. To kick this year-around program off, we are launching the “YEP Fund” as an ongoing opportunity for you to support young leaders in the core-city neighborhoods. YEP: “Empowering youth to become LEADERS NOW, while forever changing their futures, as they become PILLARS of SOCIETY.”

For more information on the YEP program and the possibilities of this up coming FUND please contact Charlotte Johnson at