Simon Sustainability Report 2020-2021


In 1998, Simon employees founded Simon Youth Foundation (SYF), a nationwide community scholarship and high school dropout recovery program, as a way to give back to the community. Today, Simon Youth Academies, which are alternative classrooms located inside Simon centers, partner with local public school districts to educate and support students at risk of dropping out of high school. In its 20-plus-year history, SYF has helped almost 22,000 students earn their high school diplomas. SYF has set a goal of increasing the number of graduated students to 30,000 by the academic year 2024-2025. The pandemic impacted SYF in 2020 as well. SYF management supported SYF educators by acquiring and developing new resources to support students throughout this unprecedented time. Providing space to gather virtually “together” for needed fellowship and emotional support improved morale for our educators, which in turn allowed them to better meet their students’ emotional needs, ultimately empowering students to persist academically and achieve SYF’s highest graduation rate (98%)—in spite of a pandemic! CREATING BIGOPPORTUNITIES FOR BIG DREAMS

SYF provided additional flexibility and support for both teachers and students in recognition of the volatility in the academic calendars. SYF management distributed educational, social, emotional, and professional development resources three times a week to all 400+ educators within the network, and all graduation and scholarship recognition activities were moved online. The SYF Annual Conference became a virtual event, and rather than take place in one hour period, SYF staff took the opportunity to develop and offer an ongoing series of professional development sessions with 3-5 options offered each month from August 2020 – May 2021. Since 2017, students have created their own yearbook with students in photography classes coordinating the project. Here too, COVID-19 impacted the ability to complete this project. In 2020 however, students at Simon Youth Academy at Circle Centre Mall (Indianapolis) not only demonstrated their resiliency and creativity, but had their work featured at Newfields (located at the IMA, Indianapolis’ art museum) as well as at a pop-up gallery in partnership with the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA).

42 academies in 15 states

are first in their family to pursue post-secondary education 28% students enrolled 3.5K+

22K+ Graduates since inception

With 24 public school district partnerships

in scholarships in 2020 $1M

since inception $19M

98% graduation rate in 2020, ~ 90% since inception


Enrolled SYF students 2020-2021

invested by Simon, its employees, and others

in partnership in 2020-2021


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