Video created by Angelo Hernandez-Sias

Are you a student interested in joining the Youth Advisory Council of Muskegon County? An organization looking to apply for funds allotted by YAC? Whatever the case, here are some frequently asked questions which may aid you in your learning process. If you’re feeling extra curious, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email at yac@muskegonfoundation.org.

General Questions | For Youth | For Organizations and Donors

General Questions

  • The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a collective of youth grantmakers who represent 16 Muskegon-area high schools. This team meets monthly to allot over $60,000 to local youth-serving organizations and projects. When YAC isn’t grantmaking, it’s planning community service projects and site visits to the organizations it funds.

  • The Youth Advisory Council of Muskegon County is made up of students from 16 Muskegon-area high schools; typically each school has 2 YAC representatives.

  • YAC started up in 1989, when the W. K. Kellogg Foundation challenged Michigan community foundations to help youth give. This was the deal: if you (the Community Foundation) raise enough money to create an unrestricted youth endowment fund, we (Kellogg) will match your efforts so that teenagers can keep on giving, year after year.  To date, the Muskegon YAC alone has awarded over $1 million to organizations in Muskegon County, a fraction of the total $33+ million given in Michigan altogether.

  • One way to stay in touch with all things YAC is to sign up for the Community Foundation’s email list:

    Subscribe to our mailing list below.

    You can also follow our Facebook Page:

For Youth

  • Join YAC, and you’ll work to combat mental health issues, substance use, race discrimination, and other challenges you and/or your peers grapple with every day. You’ll do community service, not because you got caught spray-painting your high school or egging a teacher’s car, but because you want to. You’ll be a grantmaker who helps dispense tens of thousands of dollars of aid to youth-related projects in Muskegon County. Interested? Apply.

  • Apply to YAC by completing our online application. The application cycle is currently closed. We will be looking for YACers from all school districts in the spring of 2024.

For Organizations and Donors

  • YAC reviews grants twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Instructions for applying for a grant can be found here.

  • The answer to this question, of course, depends on your overall budget. YAC distributes its funds to a variety of community organizations rather than granting a large amount to any one organization. Generally, YAC aims to give organizations a jump start, with the intent of helping them become self-sustaining, so that it can continue to diversify its list of grantees.

  • Every few years, the Youth Advisory Council of Muskegon County sends out the Youth Empowerment Survey (YES) to students in Muskegon County high schools. The committee considers data from these assessments in its goal-setting and decision-making processes. Read our 2021 Youth Empowerment Survey Results here or hear from the YAC about the results by watching the video below:

  • YAC understands that sometimes a little help can go a long way. Each year, YAC sets aside funds (around $12,000 in recent years) to support smaller projects in the Muskegon area. This funding often goes to teachers seeking learning tools that will enhance their students’ experiences. Applications will be open in early fall of each year.

  • First off: Yay! We are incredibly appreciative of your interest in helping us develop our fund. You can support YAC by giving online here. Thank you very much!

YAC Grants

Learn about YAC's grantmaking efforts.

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Join YAC!

Grant tens of thousands of dollars of aid to youth-related projects in Muskegon County.

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Meet the YAC.

Beware: movers and shakers ahead.

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