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 and families in Emmet County.

Thanks to a matching grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation over 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.

Current Committee

2021-22 Youth Advisory Committee Members (bold indicates Officers):

Charlie Baker, Harbor Springs High School
William Cabana, Harbor Springs High School
Alex Carlson, Petoskey High School
Callie Carlson, Petoskey Middle School
Suzy Carpenter, Petoskey High School
Taylor Dickinson, 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
Grace Hayhurst, Harbor Springs High School
Laney Jakeway, Harbor Light Christian School
Annie Jones, Petoskey High School
Callie Keiser, Harbor Springs Middle School
Ava Kenwabikise, Alanson High School
Brandon Nguyen, Alanson High School
Quinn O’Neill, Petoskey High School
Jordan Stark, Petoskey High School
James Stebelton, Petoskey High School
Sara Wochoski, Alanson High School


Sarah Ford, Director of Community Philanthropy, Co-Advisor
Tamara Kiogima, Volunteer Co-Advisor

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

Video: Inspirations and Aspirations