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Tim Earnest is known to most as a visionary, leader, innovator, and mentor. As one of the key Founders and former Board Member of Simon Youth Foundation, Tim was an advocate for students and teachers served by SYF for more than 23 years.

Tim was one of several Simon Property Group (SPG) management employees who came together after noticing teens hanging out in their centers during school hours. Their local observations were an insight into a national problem among youth; one in every three students in the U.S. fails to complete their high school education. Determined to find an innovative solution, the concept of building learning centers in malls grew out of the managers’ belief that many dropouts could and would graduate if provided the right support. Their desire to help students at risk of not graduating reached receptive ears as the idea of mall-based Simon Youth Academies was presented to SPG leadership. The Simon family, including Deborah Simon, Shari Simon Greenberg, and Steve Simon, endorsed the concept and lent their support to bring this concept to fruition.

After Tim’s distinguished 30-year career at Simon Property Group in Indianapolis, Tim was currently working in Dubai, UAE as Group Director of Al-Futtaim Malls, one of his greatest career accomplishments. Tim had a wealth of knowledge in his industry that he shared with the world.

Tim was so proud to be able to help whoever came in his path. He was a mentor to many who will carry on his knowledge for decades to come. Tim’s legacy will also continue to have an impact on young lives across the country. As Tim stated during an interview discussing SYF’s 15th anniversary: “Looking back, we had high expectations for what SYF could accomplish, but we never could have imagined how successful this model would become.”

Tim will be missed by all who were touched by his generous spirit.

Click here to watch Tim’s full video on YouTube.

Click here to donate in Tim’s honor and support future scholars.