Members of the Aurora High School Youth Empowerment Project recently attended the annual YEP Conference held in Springfield.

Rob Blevins, Executive Director of Discovery Center of Springfield, delivered the keynote address for the February 6 event at Empower: Abilities (formerly known as the Southwest Center for Independent Living). He shared his story of how he came to be a nonprofit leader and gave several recent examples of young people that changed the world.

The students also participated in small-group activities, discussing how to make a measurable impact in their communities and sharing ideas for how to improve early childhood education, food insecurity, civic engagement and other community issues.

The goal of the Youth Empowerment Project, a program of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, is to promote the principles of philanthropy for high school and middle school students through education, community grantmaking, service projects and fundraising. Aurora High School YEP is one of about 30 chapters across the region.

The CFO is a regional public charitable foundation serving central and southern Missouri through a network of donors, nonprofit partners and affiliate foundations, including the Aurora Area Community Foundation.