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Youth Advisory Council Grants Selected

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

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 you and teens. Youth Advisory Council accepts grant proposals twice each year in March and October. Recently, YAC selected its Spring 2022 grant recipients. Read on to learn more about these grant award winners and the vital work they do for our community's youth.

Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce: Hispanic Heritage Celebration

Sturgis Fest will have its first ever Hispanic Heritage Night this year, featuring live music, food, and activities. The celebration will occur on Friday, June 24th, on North Street. The grant from YAC will support two live bands featuring Mariachi Michoacan and Lalo Cura.

Sturgis Fest is a community festival organized by the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by many local businesses and individuals. Activities and events will kick off with Family Day on June 21st and continue through the 26th. For more details on the week's festivities, check out

Facebook Links: Sturgis Fest

Website Link: Sturgis Fest

Sturgis Public Schools: Martial Arts Program

Sturgis Middle School will incorporate a new Martial Arts Program into the school day next year. The program will help students exercise self-control, create a sense of belonging for themselves, improve attendance, and practice positive social development. Bret Hamlin and his Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts staff, Middle School Principal James Lamb, and Sturgis Public School Superintendent Art Ebert will coordinate the program.

"Students will have the opportunity to grow their skill sets in the core values of discipline, respect, and persistence from Bret Hamlin and his outstanding staff," emphasizes Lamb.

Students invited to the kick-off class will include those struggling with attendance, behavior, or grades. Based on performance from each session, one student from each grade's top three performers will receive a scholarship for a one-year membership to the Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts.

Youth For Christ of Southwest Michigan: New LED Sign

Youth for Christ/Campus Life of Southwest Michigan is a nonprofit organization that has been a part of the community for over 36 years and plans to continue playing a role in the community for years to come. Chad VanDosen, Executive Director, describes Campus Life as "Sturgis' best-kept secret."

A recent grant awarded by the YAC will help the organization solve that problem. The funding will help pay for a new LED sign near US-12 that will display the organization's website address, information, and new branding, along with announcements and information about group trips and other events. VanDosen hopes the new sign will help Youth for Christ reach more local youth.

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