The Empowerment of Youth Growing a New Generation of Philanthropists What is a YAC? For a Community Foundation, it is NOT a brown, long-haired, horned, cow-like animal; it is a group of dedicated young people who are out to make a difference in their communities. Meet our Youth Advisory Councils – called YACs for short. Through the YAC program, kids learn about the importance of philanthropy, and develop leadership skills through community service and grantmaking; to the tune of nearly $100,000 each year in northeast Michigan. Every county in northeast Michigan is served by a YAC, and these kids take their responsibility as stewards of grant funding very seriously. “I am amazed by the dedication of these youth,” said CFNEM Program Of icer, Kara LeMonds. “They are so thoughtful and insightful when it comes to discussions at their grant review meetings. They look at everything, from how many people a project will impact, to the issues their peers say are affecting them the most, to the sustainability of a program. It’s incredible to see in action.” YACs were born out of a challenge grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Michigan Community Foundations Youth Project (MCFYP), which offered a 2:1 matching grant opportunity to start an endowment fund at Community Foundations. The stipulation for the matching funds was that all grants from the endowments must be overseen by a Youth Advisory Council under the guidance of an adult advisor. While these youth are surely making a difference in their individual communities through their annual grant funding, they can make an even bigger impact with support from others who believe in what they are doing. If you would like to support the YAC in your community, visit to make a donation to the Kellogg Youth Fund supporting your area.  Passion with a Purpose 15