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Youth Advisory Council

Our Youth Advisory Council (YAC) program involves young people as youth leaders and grantmakers, provides a forum for youth interests and needs, and commits resources to effective youth development programs across the five-county region.

YAC participants act as advisors to the our Youth Endowment, annually reviewing grant applications and recommending grant awards. One important tool that our YACs use to guide their grant decisions is our Youth Needs Assessment, which is updated with new data every three years.

Why Join YAC

Our YAC Program offers students the chance to:

  • Be decision makers for youth issues, needs, and opportunities.
  • Build leadership skills.
  • Earn community service hours.
  • Learn about local philanthropy.
  • Give back to our community. 

Over the years, hundreds of area students have participated in our YAC program—meet some of our alumni!

How to Join YAC

  • High school students (in home, private, or public schools) from Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau Counties as well as the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, a federally recognized Tribe, are all invited to participate.
  • To join one of our Youth Advisory Councils, please complete a New Member Application.

How to Continue with YAC

  • If you are a continuing YAC member, please complete your Member Commitment Form prior to the upcoming YAC program year.

About the Youth Endowment

The Youth Endowment was one of the first endowments created at the Community Foundation and was established through a matching grant opportunity from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. This meant that for every $2 raised for our other endowments, $1 was then matched for the Youth Endowment. As a result, donor partners came together to contribute $4 million to launch the Community Foundation, with $2 million contributed toward the Youth Endowment.

To date, with the leadership of YAC students, our Youth Endowment has supported more than $2.3 million in grants for youth causes across our region.

Discover more about our Youth Endowment:

  • Check out recent grant awards to nonprofit partners.
  • Learn about the grant application process.
  • Donate to the Youth Endowment to support youth causes across our region.


For more information, please contact our Youth & Community Impact Coordinator, Torey Caviston at (231) 935-4066 ext. 111 or tcaviston@gtrcf.org.