In 1998, after seeing far too many kids in malls instead of classrooms during school hours, a small but passionate group of Simon Property Group employees rolled up their sleeves.

They went to work to establish a foundation that would help public school systems reach at-risk kids who had dropped out or were on the verge of dropping out of their traditional high school.

Today, SYF supports a national network of Simon Youth Academies, which are non-traditional schools that serve at-risk students who may homeless, gravely ill, working full time to support their families, or otherwise unable to attend a traditional high school.

In addition, SYF funds a robust Simon Youth Scholarships program that helps send hundreds of academy and other high school graduates to college, many of them the first in their families to do so.

SYF founder and board member Tim Earnest, Executive Vice President, Simon Management Group, Simon Property Group, tells the story of SYF.


If SYF can change the life of just one student, then it has made a difference. But the full scope of our impact comes into focus when you consider all the numbers.

  • 22 Simon Youth Academies serve in 12 states
  • 90 percent is the graduation rate of our senior-year students
  • More than 12,000 at-risk students have earned their high school diploma in Simon Youth Academies
  • More than $12 million in scholarships has been awarded to some 3,700 students in 42 states


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