The Yippie Yogurt story begins with founding Board President Sherilyn Henry and her family’s love for frozen yogurt. When the Henrys moved to Fairfield from southern California in 2000, they found few frozen yogurt shops in Solano County. Sherilyn thought off and on about developing a frozen yogurt store herself.
Sherilyn also had a growing concern for homeless, foster care and low-income youth trapped in a cycle of generational poverty. She wanted to do something that would make a lasting difference and give these young people the opportunity to build the skills and experience necessary to find gainful employment, to be self-supporting and to give back to the community.
These two ideas came together in 2008, and the idea for Yippie Yogurt, a nonprofit, was born: a self-serve frozen yogurt job-training shop that gives low-income young people employment experience as a part of a broad employment training program, along with internship placement aid.
With the help of the Small Business Development Center, a business plan was drafted that showed such a yogurt shop could show a profit within a year. Yippie Yogurt could be self-sustaining and help hundreds of youth break the cycle of poverty. Sherilyn also envisions that as the Yippie Yogurt shop(s) become successful, Yippie Foundation will also share financial support to other community nonprofits serving youth.
Networking with friends and community members, Sherilyn found others who supported the idea of Yippie Yogurt and wanted to make it happen. The Yippie Foundation Board of Directors held their first meeting in August, 2010. From the beginning, one commitment was to have youth and young adults serving on the Board. Since that first meeting, the infrastructure of the non-profit organization has moved quickly. Yippie Foundation received its 501(c)3 status (which includes Yippie Yogurt). Classes and mentoring began in September 2011 and the first Yippie Yogurt class graduated in March 2012!
The next Yippie Foundation Academy dates will be announced soon. Yippie Yogurt job training shop, is now open in Fairfield.
You can be a part of the Yippie Yogurt story too! Make a contribution, volunteer, and spread the word to your Facebook friends and others. Be on the Yippie Team and help us to help Solano County youth reach their potential as caring, contributing and family-sustaining citizens through Yippie job training, work experience, mentoring and career development.