Isabella County YAC Welcomes Eleven New Members
The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) recently welcomed eleven new youth members. Started in 1991, the YAC includes students (7-12 grade) from schools throughout Isabella County, and serves as a pivotal agent in the empowerment of youth and in the development of young leaders. YAC members learn about philanthropy, volunteerism, and community leadership.
The YAC advises the Foundation's Board of Trustees on the awarding of grants from the Kellogg Youth Fund, an endowment fund which supports charitable projects that benefit the young people of Isabella County. Since 1992, the Community Foundation has offered youth focused mini-grants up to $300, as well as larger grants. In total, 391 grants have been awarded to date from the Kellogg Youth Fund totaling $546,763.38.
The YAC meets once per month to review grant applications, to receive leadership and philanthropy training, and to plan community service projects. Every three years, the YAC surveys 8th and 10th graders in Isabella County to help identify the greatest needs and problems facing youth in our community. YAC members participate in numerous service activities, like the Lion’s Chicken Barbeque and Christmas Outreach. Finally, YAC members work to grow the Kellogg Youth Fund, participating in many fundraisers throughout the year, like their annual flamingo flocking in August.
2017-2018 Youth Advisory Committee members include:
Beal City Public Schools: Aidan Mindel (9), Jack Schafer (10), Seth Schafer (10), Ty Schafer (10)
Mt. Pleasant Public Schools: Kayden Weekley (7), Alex DeMattei (8), Maggie Brockman (9), Kaitlin Otteman (9), Salma Abdelgawad (10), Wyatt Cook (12)
Renaissance PSA: Elizebeth Tarrant (8)
Sacred Heart Academy: Autumn Malinowski (8), Emma Yonker (8), Matthew Kinney (9), Sammy McDonald (10)
Shepherd Public Schools: Connor Bendele (8), Grace Wolf (8), Andersen Griffin-Strand (9), Maggie Bryant (11)
Adult Members: Bill Chilman, Erica Davis, Sarah Fiorillo, Erin Smith-Gaken (advisor), Nancy Wheeler (staff)
“Our goals for the YAC are twofold: to help the Foundation address the needs of youth through grants to local programs and projects, and to support youth as leaders in our region,” said Erin Smith-Gaken, Foundation Trustee and YAC Advisor. ”Committee members learn a great deal about the needs in our community and have the opportunity to make a positive impact on Isabella County.”
In addition to welcoming the new members, six graduating seniors were honored by the YAC during their annual meeting: Nate Horsley (BCHS), Haley McMullen (BCHS), Grace Rau (BCHS), Erica Davis (MPHS), Gabby Driessnack (MPHS), and Cristina Guytingco (SHA).
The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity that seeks to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Isabella County, now and for generations to come, by attracting and holding permanent endowed funds from a wide range of donors, addressing needs through grant making, and providing leadership on key community issues. To learn more about the Community Foundation and the Youth Advisory Committee, visit www.mpacf.org.