The North Central Michigan Community Foundation’s (NCMCF) Oscoda County Youth Advisory Council (YAC) brought motivational speaker and life coach Brian Pruitt to the Mio and Fairview communities oin April 2018.
“Brian’s unique message of hope, overcoming obstacles, and finding encouragement in life’s most challenging times is something our Youth Advisory Council members felt could be helpful for their fellow students,” said Oscoda County YAC Advisor Kevin Salsbury. “We are so proud of this group of young people for stepping up and trying to address a couple of major issues in our communities head-on.”
Brian Pruitt played football for Central Michigan University, and was a near sure pick for the 1995 NFL draft. However, what seemed to be a tragedy set the talented athlete back, leaving him to navigate many obstacles.
Pruitt presented to Fairview Area Schools and Mio-AuSable Schools middle and high school students and staff in the morning, and then provided an evening presentation for parents and students later the same day.
The Oscoda County YAC members are responsible for awarding grants from the Oscoda County Youth Kellogg Fund at NCMCF. Salsbury says it has been difficult over the past several years to award all of the available grant funding.
In early 2018, the NCMCF YACs completed their tri-annual Youth Needs Assessment, surveying youth from across the three county NCMCF service area of Crawford, Ogemaw and Oscoda Counties. The results clearly showed a shift in the issues youth feel are affecting them the most, with “stress” and “mental health and depression” coming out on top across the NCMCF region; and in fact, across all of northeast Michigan.
“This is a great example of a youth advisory council engaging in some real, proactive grantmaking,” said Kara LeMonds, Program Officer for the Community Foundation. “The fact that this group of kids identified a speaker on their own, and worked with their advisor and their local schools to make these community presentations happen, is just incredible.”
“Our YAC members know that this day of presentations is just one effort toward addressing such a huge issue for our kids,” said Salsbury. “But what a great opportunity for these youth to take a leadership role in helping their fellow students.”
YAC is a program of the North Central Michigan Community Foundation, and is made up of young people ages 12 to 21 from Crawford, Ogemaw and Oscoda Counties. With initial funding support by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, YAC encourages young people to learn how philanthropy can help meet the specific needs of their community through leadership, service and grantmaking.
The North Central Michigan Community Foundation serves Crawford, Ogemaw and Oscoda Counties. NCMCF is an affiliate of the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan (CFNEM), which holds combined assets of over $47 million. CFNEM serves as the administrative arm for its affiliate foundations. NCMCF is led by a volunteer board of local citizens committed to providing people who care about the future of the region and its communities with unique and effective ways of supporting their community now, and for generations to come. The foundation oversees a group of permanently endowed funds from a wide range of donors. Gifts of all sizes from individuals, families, businesses and agencies are invested in a balanced, well-managed portfolio to build endowments, enabling support for local community nonprofits now and forever. To make a donation or learn more about how community foundations work, visit www.ncmcf.org or call 989-354-6881; toll-free: 877-354-6881.