Prior to his death in July, 2004, lifelong resident of Hatteras Island Kenneth W. Oden created a charitable trust in his Will for the stated purpose of improving the lives of children on Hatteras Island. Mr. Oden made it clear that he was particularly interested in furthering the educational opportunities of the Hatteras Island youth.
In 2011, the Trustees established the Hatteras Island Youth Education Fund (HIYEF) and an Advisory Board was formed to oversee grant distributions from the Trust. Together with the Trustees, this Board decided to make the Trust “sustainable”. This meant that the entire trust fund would not be used to fund projects but a certain portion of the funds would be invested so that projects could be funded through the return of investments, and the fund would be available for generations of Hatteras Island children. The Hatteras Island Youth Education Fund has tax exempt status as a nonprofit state and federal foundation.
In the Fall of 2010, the Board reviewed applications submitted by teachers from Cape Hatteras Elementary School and Cape Hatteras Secondary School. It was obvious from the quality and number of projects proposed that additional fundraising would need to be done to make the projects happen without decreasing the overall amount of funds available. This realization led to the founding of the Shore Break 5K and the Tide Pool Fun Run held annually on Memorial Day Monday and the Surfin’ Turkey 5K and Puppy Drum Fun Run held annually in Hatteras Village on Thanksgiving morning. The first grant awarded by HIYEF was for the purchase of Marching Band Uniforms for the Cape Hatteras Secondary School. This was a first for the Marching Band Students! In 2012, HIYEF provided funding for the construction of a research pier that is located behind Cape Hatteras Secondary School as well as the funding for the establishment of an Outdoor Classroom at the Cape Hatteras Elementary School.
"Supporting the educational needs of Hatteras Island Students"
The mission of this foundation is to provide grants for elementary and secondary educational needs in circumstances where other public or private funding resources do not exist. The sole focus of the fund is for Hatteras Island students. We also look to broaden the social and interactive experiences of the children of Hatteras Island while hoping to contribute to their growth and success as individuals and members of our community.