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Community Foundation Youth Endowment Accepting Grant Applications to Impact Youth Needs

Mental health, academic stress, and stress regarding future college and career plans were identified by area high school students as top issues facing youth in the region, according to a recent Youth Needs Assessment report from the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation. Vaping and other substance abuse issues were also identified as top issues.

“The results of this survey are an important consideration for members of our Youth Advisory Council as they make grant award decisions from our Youth Endowment,” said Gina Thornbury, Community Foundation program officer. “We survey area high school students every three years to understand current needs of regional youth and to help our YAC members prioritize awarding grant dollars to where they’re needed most.”

The Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council (YAC) involves local high school students as leaders and grantmakers in their communities in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counties. YAC members award funding from the Community Foundation Youth Endowment.  Last year, 62 students representing grades 9-12 from 14 different high schools completed the program and granted $72,500 into their local communities.

Grant applications are currently being accepted through September 1 for funding from the Youth Endowment. Nonprofit, school, government, and tribal entities in the five-county area that support youth needs and programming are eligible to apply. Priority is given to organizations whose work most closely aligns with the needs determined in the Youth Needs Assessment, though all organizations serving local youth are welcome to apply.

“This YAC program represents a long-standing commitment by the Community Foundation to promote and provide opportunity for youth leadership experiences,” said Thornbury. “These young adults put in significant time and energy to ensure their grant dollars are invested in programs and services really making a difference in the lives of youth in our region.”

Over the past 28 years, the Youth Endowment has supported nearly $1.6 million in grants back to youth needs in the five-county region and hundreds of local youth have been a part of YAC.

The complete Youth Needs Assessment can be found at: www.gtrcf.org/priorities/youth-philanthropy. For more information on the Youth Endowment grant application, visit www.gtrcf.org/grants/apply.

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