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 20 years ago, the 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.

YAC Grants

Grants awarded by the Youth Advisory Council are selected to meet the needs of Manistee County’s youth. Recently awarded YAC grants include:


  • $1,100 to the Manistee County Community Band and Choir (made up of about 40% youth) to grow their music library and include pieces from diverse composers to be performed at their Summer Concert Series throughout the community.
  • $300 to Staircase Youth Services for their Join a Team program to support Manistee County youth who are income insecure join a school sports team.
  • $1,000 to United Way of Manistee County for implementing a Girls on the Run program that will be accessible to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls in Manistee County.



  • $1,000 to the Wexford-Missaukee-Manistee Great Start Collaborative for their Mindfulness Mondays program for Manistee County families with young children.
  • $250 to Staircase Youth Services for their Teen Mental Health days to immediately support Manistee County youth in crisis by providing a positive mental health activity or experience.
  • $750 to Onekama Consolidated Schools for their Whole Child Initiative to support their students with learning opportunities that meet their educational, social, and emotional needs.



  • $2,000 to the Historic Vogue Theatre of Manistee in support of their 25-cent Family Matinee Program: Presented by YAC



  • $2,300 to the Manistee County Child Advocacy Center in support of their Trauma-Informed Therapy Program



  • $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