2017 Youth Needs Assessment: Local Youth Say Bullying is Number One Concern
National studies suggest that one in four children are bullied. But, is that the case here in Isabella County? Six hundred and thirty Isabella County students completed an online survey last spring and bullying topped the list of their concerns.
The survey, conducted by the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), asked eighth and tenth graders to help identify the greatest issues being faced by youth in our community. Students from Beal City Public Schools, Mt. Pleasant Public Schools, Sacred Heart Academy, and Shepherd Public Schools participated in the 2017 Youth Needs Assessment.
Top issues identified varied by grade, gender and school. Overall results showed that the greatest concerns for youth in the community are:
Bullying - 57%
Stress/School Pressure - 52%
Depression/Suicide/Loss - 46%
Alcohol and Drug Abuse - 46%
Self-Esteem/Respect for Yourself and Others - 43%
The YAC is comprised of 7th-12th grade students from all schools in Isabella County, and serves as a pivotal agent in the empowerment of youth and in the development of young leaders. The YAC advises the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees on the awarding of grants from the Kellogg Youth Fund, an endowment that supports charitable projects and events that benefit the young people of Isabella County. YAC student leaders spend time positively influencing their community while learning about service and civic engagement. The YAC meets at least once per month to review grant applications, to receive leadership and philanthropy training, and to plan community service projects.
Every 2-3 years, the YAC surveys 8th and 10th graders in Isabella County to help identify what they see as the greatest needs and problems facing youth in the community. The Youth Needs Assessment helps the YAC determine funding priorities as they review grant applications. View a full summary of the 2017 Youth Needs Assessment results here.
Over the past 25 years, the YAC has awarded more than $560,000 in grants from the Kellogg Youth Fund, and YAC members learn how to raise funds to continue to grow this endowment fund too. Members have planned a social media campaign to raise additional funds for the Kellogg Youth Fund between now and #GivingTuesday on November 28th. The YAC would like to raise $25,000 to add to the Kellogg Youth Fund to celebrate 25 years of youth philanthropy in Isabella County. Donations to the Kellogg Youth Fund may be mailed to the Community Foundation at PO Box 1283, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48804, or may be made online.