Youth Advisory Council

  • In 1989, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation conceived an 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 Youth Advisory Council is a special “youth as grantmakers” project of the Community Foundation for Mason County. The YAC is made up of student representatives from Mason County schools and supported by adult advisors. The YAC engages young people in solving real problems affecting their communities and peers. This group of young people is Mason County’s own local panel of experts regarding youth issues who provide recommendations to the Community Foundation’s board of directors about grants to be awarded from the fund each year. The YAC meets monthly during the school year to carry out their work.

  • Needs Assessment: Every three years, YAC conducts a needs assessment to identify the community issues most important to young people living in Mason County. The findings from the needs assessment are used to guide the YAC’s grantmaking decisions. In the fall of 2021, a youth needs assessment was completed in our community. Based on assessment results, the following were identified as areas of priority for our local youth:

    • Youth Mental Health
    • Managing Academic Stress
    • Youth Substance Use Prevention

    Grantmaking: YAC members help guide distribution of grants to promising youth-related projects in Mason County. Every fall, they review teacher mini-grant applications to support local educators with classroom projects. Each spring, they review applications and award funding to organizations that support youth based on the identified priorities. Since its inception, our YAC has awarded over 350 grants to local youth projects, totaling over $270,000.

    Service: Each year, the YAC selects a local service project in which to participate. During the 2021-22 program year, the YAC participated in the Ludington Lake Jump to support the Childhood Cancer Campaign.

     

  • Teacher Mini-Grants: Public and private school teachers and counselors in Mason County are eligible to apply. You may only submit one application, and grants are limited to one per classroom and one per teacher per school year. Grants may be up to $500 for specific projects or programs, including program enhancement that meets curriculum guidelines, expanding an already existing unit, student awards, special events, professional development, artists in residence, or parent involvement programs. Grants are not awarded for basic supplies. Applications will be available through our online application system, Submittable, beginning August 4.

    Teacher Mini-Grant Applications due:  October 4, 2022

    Youth Advisory Council Competitive Grant Round: The Youth Advisory Council funds programs that support youth in Mason County. Funding priorities are based on the YAC’s needs assessment results and will be released in February of 2022. All 501(c)(3) organizations, churches, schools, agencies, and governmental units serving youth in Mason County are eligible to apply.  Applications can be accessed beginning February 4, through our online application system, Submittable.

    YAC Competitive Grants Applications Due: April 4, 2023

  • Olivia Klevorn, President
    Ludington Area Schools

    Annie Kline, Vice President
    Ludington Area Schools

    Kathleen Wang, Secretary
    Ludington Area Schools

    Sydney Horacek, Treasurer
    Mason County Central Schools

    Avery Reed, Representative to the Community Foundation for Mason County Board
    Ludington Area Schools

    Maggie Autrey
    Ludington Area Schools

    Kristen Bacon
    Mason County Eastern Schools

    Holly Bowen
    Mason County Central Schools

    Kaeden Carlson
    Ludington Area Schools

    Kaitlin Carlson
    Ludington Area Schools

    Aubrey Chye
    Mason County Central Schools

    Sophia Greirson
    Ludington Area Schools

    Emma Jancek
    Mason County Central Schools

    Grace Johnson
    Ludington Area Schools

    Mariella Korendyke
    Ludington Area Schools

    Levi Laman
    Ludington Area Schools

    Kaitlin LaPointe
    Mason County Eastern Schools

    Miriam Manier
    Mason County Eastern Schools

    Ashley McPike
    Ludington Area Schools

    Karli Mesyar
    Ludington Area Schools

    Keegan Nelson
    Mason County Eastern Schools

    Julia Reed
    Ludington Area Schools

    Lucy Shoup
    Mason County Eastern Schools

  • Interested in joining the Youth Advisory Council? Current 8th – 11th grade students who live in Mason County are welcome to apply. Click here to complete a brief application for the 2023-2024 school year. Applications will be reviewed in April 2023.

For more information on the Community Foundation for Mason County’s Youth Advisory Council, contact: Rich and Beth Kirby, at bkirby@lasd.net or at 231.690.6322.

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