Youth Needs Assessment

With revenue earned from the permanently endowed Youth Fund, the YAC addresses issues of concern and importance through grantmaking. In order to help them represent their peers, and in compliance with the Council of Michigan Foundations, the YAC surveys middle and high school students using a needs assessment survey every three years. The goal is to give students a chance to share what is important to them and to their community.

In 2013, YAC members distributed surveys to one classroom each and tallied those surveys. The highlights of those surveys from students in Alanson, Harbor Springs, Pellston, Petoskey are below.

Issues that affect survey respondents personally:
Pressure to achieve or succeed: 292
Time management: 228
Family Issues (emotional or physical): 108
Low self-esteem: 107
Problems with friends/peers: 97

What are your plans for after high school?
Four-Year College or University: 397
Community College:108
Work:106
Military Service:45
Undecided:42
Technical/Trade School:27
Other:14

What types of activities do you find to be “very valuable”?
Competitive Sports: 288
Programs that explore jobs and careers or job preparation: 264
Arts, writing, or music-focused activities: 247
Programs that teach money management: 243
Programs that teach time management: 214

The YAC survey was not comprehensive and it was not scientific, but it was a sincere request for students to share the challenges they face and the opportunities they see. The Community Foundation’s YAC reviews grant requests each fall and spring. They’ll keep the voices of their peers in mind when making difficult decisions about how to make grants that will benefit youth in Emmet County.

Review the results of the most recent survey. What do you think? Contact us – we’d love to hear your comments or suggestions.

Youth Needs Assessment Results – 2013