Four youth advisory councils (YACs) took home awards at the 2017 Youth Grantmakers Summer Leadership Conference, held at Central Michigan University (CMU) over the weekend. Award recipients included Ionia County YAC, Hillsdale County Coummunity Foundation YOUTH, Fremont Area Community Foundation YAC and Battle Creek Community Foundation YAC. CMF's president and CEO Rob Collier presented the awards to the YACs on Sunday on behalf of the Michigan Community Foundations Youth Project (MCFYP) Committee.
Details of the awards include:
- 2017 Community Service Project of the Year
Ionia County Youth Advisory Council (YAC): The Ionia County YAC hosted their 6th Annual Strive to Arrive Alive Conference, which focuses on teen driver safety. The conference is completely youth-led and this year saw 600 attendees from all across Michigan in grades 9-12. The YAC turned the vision of this conference into a reality in hopes of educating as many teens as possible on the important issue of teen driver safety.
- 2017 Media Usage of the Year
Hillsdale County Community Foundation (HCCF) YOUTH: The HCCF YOUTH created The Challenge 5 Campaign to combat student truancy in their county. A committee of students created the slogan “5 or Less = Road to Success” as well as the artwork used on billboards, signs, posters, and magnets. The pieces of media were displayed and shared with the entire community. This campaign was developed and implemented entirely by youth. The campaign also created a partnership between YOUTH and the Hillsdale County School Justice Committee.
- 2017 Grant of the Year
Fremont Area Community Foundation Youth Advisory Committee (YAC): The YAC awarded a $27,500 grant to the Newaygo County Area Promise Zone which provides a tuition free option to attend college for all Newaygo County graduates with at least a 2.5 GPA. The Promise Zone provides both scholarships and college access opportunities. The grant funds will go to Promise Zone scholarships and will be available starting with the graduating class of 2017. The YAC believes this will create a college going culture in the area and will positively influence Newaygo County students as a whole.
- 2017 Fundraiser of the Year
Battle Creek Community Foundation Youth Alliance Committee (YAC): The YAC planned and hosted their first YAC alumni gathering in July 2016 where past Battle Creek YACers mingled, ate dinner, and created relationships with current YACers. YACs did estensive research to find and invite alumni more than 100 alumni. The event was the first step in a long-term fund development project meant to bring back past YACers to serve as donors to the YAC’s grantmaking endowment. The YAC intends to host another alumni event this coming summer.