In his 24 years of life, John expressed his passion for the outdoors and beauty of Benzie County.
The endowment in his memory was established in 1993, allowing his spirit to live on through grants supporting environmental education in Benzie County communities and preserving his passion for generations to come.
What impression will you make? Let's give it forward, together.
I am a senior at Ellsworth Community School and have been living in Charlevoix, MI since I was eight years old. I served my freshman and sophomore years on the Charlevoix County Community Foundation's YAC and upon switching to Ellsworth my junior and senior year I joined GTRCF's Antrim County YAC. During my senior year, I helped form the YAC Leadership Team and was voted president. I also participated in varsity volleyball, various community service projects, and Crooked Tree Art Center's Youth Orchestra as a violin player. I am currently reviewing the Universities I have been accepted to and will be attending one of them to study political science this fall.
I am a senior at Traverse City West Senior High, and I am very engaged in the community. I am the Vice President of the Youth Advisory Council Leadership team, and I am very excited to be part of YAC this year. Since I started attending my high school I have been able to take part in many unique experiences. I had the opportunity to compete in the Junior Achievement Summit, take part in a Rotary Leadership Conference, and become part of the National Technical Honors Society. I am dedicated to using the skills I have had the amazing opportunity to learn, to help the community. When someone is in need, I'll be there doing all I can do to help out. I hope to be able to build a good example for my peers, and to learn a lot from them as well as I take part in the YAC Leadership Team.
My name is Irene Gonzalez Zamorano and I'm an exchange student from Spain. I'm spending this awesome year studying as a Senior in Leland Public School and I'm really enjoying it. I have been a cross country runner for my high school team and currently I'm a ski racer in a co-op with Glen Lake ski team. I love to learn more each day, so I'm also participating in the Youth in Government program at my high school as I've always been interested in politics, but especially in International Relations and Economics.
I decided to become an exchange student as I've always believed that traveling and having different experiences in your life is what makes a teen grow as a person and opens up your mind. I'm amazed to have the opportunity to meet new people each day, make new friends and experience what it feels to interact with people from other countries, getting to know their culture and share mine... and this is also why I decided to cooperate with YAC. I had a short experience at the beginning of the year as some of my classmates and I helped to organize grants among different associations of Northern Michigan with different schools, and I felt very interested in it. That's why I decided to go further and collaborate on what is going to be one of the best organizations that teens like me are going to create with YAC. I feel like this is going to be a great experience that will change the way I look at the world that surrounds me alongside with people I can't wait to meet. Oh, and I'm the YAC Secretary too!
Hello, my name is Emily Bennetts. I am 17 years old, a senior at Kingsley High School and Treasurer of the YAC Leadership Team. After graduation, I plan to study law and become a Prosecuting Attorney. I enjoy traveling and participating in student council.
Hi, my name is Brianna Pettengill. I am a junior at Benzie Central High School. There I am a part of the band and the Drama Club along with Student Council, Key Club and YAC.
I am a senior at Elk Rapids High School and have been involved in YAC for two years. I am also involved with NHS, playing the trumpet in the marching band and concert band, singing in chamber choir, and acting in the musical production put on in the spring. Outside of school I enjoy reading and playing the fiddle.
I grew up in Traverse City where she developed a variety of interests from music to sports. At the age of 5, she began ski racing, and is now on the Traverse City Central downhill ski team. She enjoys spending time with friends, going on adventures, and volunteering to support the community!