Youth Advisory Committee

What is YAC?

The Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) involves youth as decision makers and leaders in the community; promotes positive youth development; and involves youth in philanthropy and volunteerism. YAC participants act as advisors to the Fund for Youth and twice per year review grant applications and recommend grant awards to benefit young people in Emmet County.

Thanks to a matching grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation 25 years ago, the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation was able to establish the $1 million endowed Fund for Youth. Our YAC is made up of students in grades 8-12 from across Emmet County. They are part of a network of more than 1,800 young people serving on 86 youth grantmaking committees around the state. Since YACs began, more than $33 million has been granted to support youth programs across the state of Michigan. Since our own YAC was established in 1994, almost $1.5 million has been granted back to our local community for programming that makes youth and families in Emmet County stronger.

What Are They Up To?

The Youth Advisory Committee meets once per month to discuss best practice in grantmaking, learn about philanthropy in our community, and discuss ways to make a positive impact. This year the YAC is focused on making a deeper connection with our grant partners, and has set a goal to make more site visits to grants they’ve awarded and volunteer in the community this year. 

Joining YAC

The Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation invites Emmet County young people to join their Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) annually in February or March. YAC members are representatives of the county’s youth and are responsible for addressing youth needs by directing grant dollars to area nonprofit organizations. Members learn a lot about their community, philanthropy, and how to make decisions in a group.

Youth in Emmet County who have the time and interest to attend monthly meetings from September to May, to read grant applications twice a year, and to make a multi-year commitment should consider applying for YAC membership. New members typically join the committee at the beginning of their eighth, ninth, or tenth grade year and stay on until they graduate from high school.

Learn how to apply here.

Questions? Call Sarah Ford at 231.348.5820 or email.

YAC Best Practices Manual

Current Committee

2019-2020 Youth Advisory Committee

2019-2020 Youth Advisory Committee Members:

Alex Carlson, Petoskey Middle School
Suzy Carpenter, Petoskey High School
Liv Cerrudo, Petoskey High School
Ellen Collie, Harbor Springs High School
Jeep Damoose, Harbor Springs High School
Ella Deegan, Harbor Springs High School
Abigail Donovan, Petoskey High School
Heidi Dumas, Petoskey High School
Anna Dundon, Petoskey High School
Cadence Glass, Petoskey High School
Will Goelz, Petoskey High School
Ellie Jones, Petoskey High School
Sarah Liederbach, Petoskey High School
J.J. Marshall, Petoskey High School
Beatriz Miranda, Petoskey High School
Quinn O’Neill, Petoskey High School
Colin Robbins, Pellston High School
Mamie Scholl, Petoskey High School
Ethan Schumaker, Harbor Springs High School
Michael Sherman, Petoskey High School
Paige Simard, Petoskey High School
James Stebelton, Petoskey High School
Luke Sumpter, Petoskey High School
Kyla Wang, Petoskey High School
Brynn Werner, Petoskey High School
Jaeger Williams, Petoskey High School

Sarah Ford, Community & Donor Engagement Officer, Co-Advisor
Chris Cerrudo, Volunteer Co-Advisor

Video: Inspirations and Aspirations