Youth Advisory Council

What is the Youth Advisory Council (YAC)?

The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) serves as the Foundation’s local panel of experts on the needs and issues that face area youth and is the advisory body to the Foundation’s Youth Endowment Fund. The YAC is comprised of high school students from each of Manistee County's six school districts. YAC members learn about philanthropy (donations of time, talent, and treasure for community good), build leadership skills and provide a voice for youth in our community. The YAC is active in assessing the needs of Manistee County youth, participates in fund development activities to grow the Foundation's Youth Endowment Fund and recommends grants that respond to needs of area youth. YAC members meet monthly and have opportunities to participate in leadership training and community service activities.

Youth Advisory Council (YAC) History

Over ten years ago, W.K. Kellogg Foundation conceived a fruitful idea to help seed community foundations throughout Michigan if the local Foundation agreed to establish a permanent youth fund and a Youth Advisory Council (YAC). They wanted to help create a strong philanthropic training ground for youth and in a few short years over 86 YACs were formed across Michigan. The goal was to help young people learn generosity and leadership and at the same time build stronger and more caring communities.

The Manistee County Community Foundation's Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is comprised of approximately 20 high school students representing each of the county's six school districts. The YAC governs the Manistee County Youth Fund, advises on grants out of the fund each year, and performs community service. This special group of young people are Manistee County’s own local panel of experts regarding youth issues who provide recommendations to the Manistee County Community Foundation board of directors about grants to be awarded from the fund each year. Most importantly, the Manistee County YAC provide an ongoing source of support for programs and services for our County’s youth.

YAC Grants

Grants awarded by the Youth Advisory Council are selected to meet the needs of Manistee County’s youth.

In 2018-9 the YAC awarded the following grants:

  • $293 to Manistee County PFLAG to support their inclusive book donation program to Manistee County elementary schools
  • $800 to the United way in support of the Prom Boutique and their continued efforts in providing free prom and formal attire to local teens
  • $1000 to Staircase Youth Services to support their Youth Summer Enrichment Program
  • $207 to Brethren High School National Honors Society to support their Blessings in a Backpack program

In 2017-8 the YAC awarded the following grants:

  • $75 to Manistee Middle High School to support the 6th Grad STEP Up Mentoring program
  • $300 to the Manistee County Library to develop a new space for teens at the Manistee Branch
  • $750 to Staircase Youth Services to support their Summer Program
  • $825 to West Shore Community College to support scholarships for Manistee County students to attend College for Kids
  • $400 to Substance Education Awareness (SEA) Manistee to support youth involvement through Students Against Destructive Decisions and Peer Mentoring

In 2016-7 the YAC awarded the following grants:

  • $1,000 to West Shore Community College for College for Kids scholarships for Manistee County students (grades 4-12)
  • $430 to the Manistee County Library for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Maker Kits for Summer Reading Program
  • $1,000 to Armory Youth Project for youth community garden and cooking program

In 2015-6 the YAC awarded the following grants:

  • $500 to Manistee Community Kitchen for the Cooking for Kids Program
  • $600 to Bear Lake Community Services for the Food Pantry
  • $400 for Onekama Consolidated Schools for Portager Pride Packs
  • $500 to 19th Circuit Court Family Division for Youth Diversion Program

In 2014-5 the YAC awarded the following College Positive Communities grants:

  • $1,550 to Manistee Area Public Schools to support Camp Invention, a STEM summer program targeting 1st - 6th graders in Manistee County.
  • $1,000 to West Shore Community College to support Steps to Success program targeting Manistee County juniors and 8th graders.
  • $450 to Benzie Central Schools to support college visits for 9th graders (a portion of their students are from Manistee County)

In 2013-4 the YAC awarded the following grants:

  • $400 to Manistee County Child Advocacy Center to support training for PFLAG Manistee in support of Anti-Bulleying Programs
  • $100 to United Way of Manistee County to support Prom Boutique

A partial listing of prior YAC Grant Awards include support for:

  • Equipment for a new preschool classroom at Madison Elementary
  • The Manistee Intermediate School District for balance equipment to assist children with physical disabilities
  • Staircase Youth Services for Summer Youth Programs
  • District 10 Health Department for Girls on the Run
  • Each Manistee County school district to address priority unmet needs
  • The Manistee Intermediate School District's Exploring Arts Partnership with Very Special Arts
  • The Manistee Intermediate School District’s “From Cowpokes to Careers”
  • Youth as Partners in Mentoring programs of Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • The Conservation Resource Alliance’s 4th Annual Youth Fly Fishing Seminar