Thanks to local youth, two schools receive grants for self-esteem assembly and supplies

Schools may have a tough time finding funding for supplies and programs, but two schools in northern Michigan are receiving some helpful grants – thanks to local youth.

Students at Wolverine Community Schools and Mackinaw City Public Schools can look forward to ipads, books and assemblies thanks to the actions of other students.

Members in the Youth Advisory Council, or YAC, chose how they wanted to help other youth in their communities.

YACs, as they are known, are groups of youth. Different YAC groups are located in communities around the state. The YACs help their communities through philanthropy.

Christine Hitch is with the Community Foundation of Northeast Michigan.

She said they started with a survey. Their YAC group surveyed local youth on what issues are most important to them and they used the responses to target the grants.

“They survey a good sampling of youth throughout their service area, compile the results of what youth in their community actually feel are the most pressing issues for them. And then they take those top 10 results and they try to align their grants with them,” Hitch said.

She said the Yacs focus on a local brand of philanthropy, and it shows.

“The stipulation for that money is that it had to be used for programs that directly impact youth in the area,” Hitch said, “And it also has to be overseen by a committee of youth. So that’s where our Youth Advisory Council – or we call it YAC- comes in.”

Hitch said the foundation awards thousands each year to programs in the area.

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