The Sturgis Area Community Foundation is currently accepting applicants for its Youth Advisory Council (YAC) program. To qualify for entry, students must attend Sturgis High School and be in the 9th grade.
About the Program
The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a unique leadership program that provides Sturgis High School students a hands-on opportunity to participate in the Community Foundation's work. Council members serve as advisors, making recommendations about grantmaking, programs, and initiatives that serve the needs of local youth and teens. Members serve on the council throughout all four years of high school.
"YAC provides a tremendous opportunity for teens to make a difference in their community, while also getting a first-hand look into the world of philanthropy, grantmaking, and foundations," says Anna Brand, Program Coordinator for Sturgis Area Community Foundation. "There really is no other program quite like this in our community."
In addition to reviewing and evaluating grant proposals, YAC members participate in group volunteer activities like the annual "Christmas Service Project", when members shop for holiday gifts for local families in need in partnership with organizations like the Salvation Army and the St. County United Way. In the spring each year, members partner with Eastwood Elementary School to introduce students to community service through YAC's "Fourth Grade Philanthropy Project".
In their junior year of high school, YAC members are given the rare opportunity to apply to serve as a Youth Trustee to the Sturgis Area Community Foundation. Youth Trustees serve one year as a non-voting member of the Community Foundation board, and then in their senior year of high school become a full voting member of the Community Foundation's Board of Trustees.
"Being a Youth Trustee taught me that the Community Foundation works effortlessly to ensure it fuels what is great about this community, while also providing for parts of our community that need more support," shares Tina Tran, former Youth Trustee.
How to Apply
To apply to the Youth Advisory Council, ninth grade students should complete an online application by Friday, September 16. Candidates will then be asked to participate in a brief interview.