Yah-Hanna Jenkins Leys joined the Foundation in 2020 and serves as the Director of Community Impact/College Success Coach. Yah-Hanna works closely with the Vice President of Community Impact/People and Culture to provide additional capacity and support for the Competitive Grant Program while building and stewarding CFHZ’s relationships with nonprofit partners. Yah-Hanna also works closely with the Director of Scholarships to deepen the Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship Program’s investment in side-by-side support for Promise Scholars and to provide increased capacity to various aspects of the Promise Scholarship Program as it continues to grow.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Yah-Hanna held several roles in the lakeshore nonprofit sector including Interim-Executive Director at Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates, Faith in Youth Partnership Director at Good Samaritan Ministries, and Development Director at the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance. Yah-Hanna left her home country of St. Kitts in 2008 to pursue studies at the City College of the City University of New York, where she graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and English Literature. She then went on to pursue her graduate degree at the City College in Public Administration. However, after marrying her husband in 2013, she decided to continue her graduate career at Grand Valley State University where she focused on nonprofit leadership and management, receiving a Master of Public Administration degree in 2015.
Yah-Hanna currently serves on the Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance board of directors and is Co-founder of Women of Color Give, a giving circle with a fund housed at the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area. Yah-Hanna is a graduate of West Coast Leadership and has received the Equity Matters Award (2016) as well as the Leadership Matters Award (2020) from the Holland/Zeeland Young Professionals. The Human Relations Commission of the City of Holland also recognized Yah-Hanna as 2020 recipient of the Social Justice Award for Community Relations.
As the first Philanthropy Chair on the Holland/Zeeland Young Professionals Board of Directors, Yah-Hanna led HYP’s partnership with the Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance and West Coast Chamber of Commerce in founding Community Connections, a local initiative that connects nonprofit organizations with community members seeking opportunities to serve on boards and committees. This experience, along with co-founding Women of Color Give, have been instrumental in fueling Yah-Hanna’s passion for serving in philanthropic spaces.