Youth Advisory Committee

What Are They Up To?

Ellen, Max, Mikayla, Claire and Sarah

School might be out for the summer, but some of our young philanthropists are still busy!  Three current YAC members -- Mikayla Cerrudo, Max Meyerson, and Sarah Williams -- just returned from the Council of Michigan Foundations Youth Grantmakers Summer Leadership Conference held this year on the campus of Central Michigan University.  They joined Program Officer Sara Ward, fellow YAC member Claire Fleming and YAC alumna Ellen Lively.  Sara, Claire and Ellen serve on MCFYP (Michigan Community Foundation Youth Project) which is responsible for organizing this annual event.

Recent Grant Highlight


Spirit Day Camp received a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation's Youth Advisory Committee with which transportation, community - based activities, and recreation supplies were provided to attendees.  Goals for the camp included enrolling 70-90 participants (they averaged 82 for the week though each day varied) and providing a diverse selection of activities like Young Americans, Kilwin's Factory Tour, Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, movies at Petoskey Cinema, Pond Hill Farm, and outdoor activities like swimming, rafting, kayaking, and tubing.  Goals for participants included the demonstration of appropriate public behaviors like sharing, cooperating, and respecting rules; demonstrating the ability to follow verbal directions by listening carefully and completing tasks; and resolving conflicts appropriately.  According to George Armstrong, longtime leader of this annual opportunity, "Spirit Day Camp's most significant contribution is the opportunity for individuals with limited access as a result of transportation, financial, and social barriers, to engage peers and to experience community resources and events together".  A camper named Aaron shared that "It is my favorite time of year when I get together with my friends for a week of SPIRIT Day Camp".

Current Committee

The 2015-2016 Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) is made up of students from around Emmet County. Thanks to a matching grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation was able to establish the $1 million endowed Fund for Youth. The YAC is responsible for making grant recommendations from the Fund for Youth to benefit young people in our area.

Mr. Alex Bemben, Bliss Academy Homeschool
Ms. Zoey Bezilla, Harbor Springs High School
Ms. Madi Bezilla, Harbor Springs High School
Mr. Ryan Bickel, Petoskey High School
Ms. Mikayla Cerrudo, Petoskey High School
Mr. John Damoose, Harbor Springs Middle School
Ms. Kayla Decker, Petoskey High School
Mr. Noah Erxleben, Harbor Springs High School
Ms. Elizabeth Eaton, Pellston High School
Ms. Claire Fleming, Harbor Springs High School
Ms. Ellie Fleming, Harbor Springs High School
Mr. Asa Gold, Homeschool
Mr. Finn Hopkins, Petoskey High School
Ms. Maddie Hunt, Harbor Springs High School
Ms. Mikayla Kersting, Harbor Light Christian School
Ms. Genevieve Kromm, St. Francis Xavier
Ms. Annie Lesky, Harbor Springs High School
Ms. Eva Matthews, Harbor Light Christian School
Mr. Max Meyerson, Petoskey High School
Ms. Cecilia Murray, Petoskey High School
Mr. Mitch Pulaski, Petoksey High School
Mr. Dennis Sanche, Alanson Public Schools
Ms. Clare Simard, Petoskey High School
Ms. Anna Sumpter, Petoskey High School
Mr. Jaeger Williams, Pellston Middle School
Ms. Sarah Williams, Alanson Public Schools
Mr. Isaac Wittenberg, Petoskey Middle School 

Sara Ward, Program Officer, Co-Advisor
Chris Cerrudo, Co-Advisor

Video: Inspirations and Aspirations