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Youth Empowering Progress (YEP)

The mission of Youth Empowering Progress (YEP) is to provide education and human care services in impoverished communities while fostering social responsibility within the Concordia student body. YEP aims to actively involve students in all aspects of social service – including raising funds, promoting awareness of local issues, and committing to be active and compassionate citizens of the world.

The History of YEP

YEP was first know as the Yunnan Education Project and was started by three Concordia students following a school service trip to the Yunnan province in 2002. The project’s original goal was to help minority children in rural Yunnan fund their high school education.

Today, YEP stands for “Youth Empowering Progress," and it has grown to support health and sanitation projects in addition to educational support. More than 15 fresh water systems have been funded and installed in villages in Yunnan. YEP has also expanded support and involvement to additional provinces in China.

Scholarship Program

Through partnership with Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation (CWEF), YEP scholarships sponsor high-achieving high school students from poor families. Many families must make a painful decision between allowing their child to attend high school and staying to farm or work at a factory. The high school scholarships project aims to provide aid to needy students from rural areas to complete high school and create opportunities for them to achieve their goals through education.

Funding education past grade 9 is often not possible for rural students from impoverished families. These families have no access to affordable student loans or financing. As a result, high-achieving students, many of them female, are unable to pursue a high school education.

For the cost of 2,470RMB, you can pay for a year of high school for a rural Chinese student through a YEP scholarship. To request a scholarship profile, or if you have questions, please contact the Concordia Director of Student Life at studentlife@concordiashanghai.org.


Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation is a Hong Kong based non-profit organization founded by Lutheran Christians and dedicated to improving the lives of impoverished rural communities in Asia through education and service.

TrIBES trips, such as YEP Water, YEP English and YEP HEAL, provide Concordia students an opportunity to partner with CWEF in the completion water, health and education projects throughout Yunnan.

Annual Gala and Auction

A portion of the proceeds from every auction since 2006 has benefited YEP. Why is that important? Auction proceeds fund the YEP tools and equipment needed for TrIBES service trips that our High School students do each fall. Students serve and are transformed in the process!

It was awfully impressive to be part of a school where service, and global responsibility is so deliberately woven into the school’s culture and teachings.
Jameson Voisin, associate director of leadership for the Me to We organization