Will the Youth Advisory Committee miss our graduating seniors? The answer is a huge YES! Their knowledge and love for community has made them outstanding members of this dynamic group. When they leave, they will be leaving gigantic shoes to fill, but they have been training the next generation of YAC-ers to carry on.

“Every year I’m the YAC advisor, I’m amazed at the leadership, compassion and dedication the youth of the group have for the community they love. These seven YAC-ers have not only touched the lives of so many by awarding grants, starting the first proactive cyberbullying outreach grant, and volunteering hours, but they have touched my life in so many ways, too. They are all shining stars and I’m excited to see what they do next” – Karin Beyer, OCF YAC advisor

So, what’s in store for the next chapter of their lives?

Gracie Blust

Future Plans: I plan to attend Saginaw Valley State University to pursue a career in medicine.

“Youth Advisory Committee has shown me the voice I never knew I had in the community and the impact that philanthropy can have in developing a positive environment. This organization has allowed me to see how unique and connected Otsego County really is, filled with generous, supportive community members. I have grown to appreciate this special little town through community engagement and hope to see the next generation continue to build Otsego County.”

Hayden Dedoyer

Future Plans: At this time I’m undecided.

“The Youth Advisory Committee has impacted my life by giving me an opportunity to help my community.”

Claire Gilling

Future Plans: To attend Central Michigan University to pursue a degree in music education. After college, I plan to have a career as a music teacher!

“YAC impacted my life by showing me the value of giving back to others. I was given the opportunity to give back to my community in a unique way through the grant cycle. Through YAC, I found a passion for volunteering and serving my community and learned important lessons in collaborating and voicing my opinion. Everything I learned in YAC will be carried with me throughout my whole life in many ways. I will always be grateful for my time with YAC and the influence it had on my life.”

Eliza Handley

Future Plans: After high school, I plan to attend a 4-year university and study either political science or international affairs.

“YAC has been an amazing opportunity for me to learn one type of way that I can help my community. Through learning about the grant process and philanthropy in general, I have gained knowledge that I will be able to use for the rest of my life. Because of this experience, I have also been able to meet people from other schools in the community who also care about changing the community for the better. Overall, YAC has been an amazing experience that I will cherish forever and am very grateful for! I will definitely miss the YAC meetings and all the fun we had while doing good for the community!” 

Kaylie McKinley

Future Plans: I plan to study integrative neuroscience at Loyola Chicago University to become a pediatric neurosurgeon. 

“YAC has not only impacted me greatly, but it has changed my life. YAC has given me a voice and has shown me how to stand up for myself – and for the less fortunate. I have been very lucky to have been able to be part of such a great organization during my high school career.” 

Kellen Minyon

Future Plans: I plan on attending Michigan Technological University, majoring in computer engineering. I will compete for a walk-on scholarship through the United States Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, and if accepted, I will be minoring in aeronautical engineering and upon graduation will be commissioned as an Officer within the United States Air Force.

“YAC has impacted my life by showing me directly how a single decision can change multiple lives for the better. I’ve learned that donation and volunteering isn’t just something you do because others are doing it, you do it to meet new people, form bonds, and realize that everyone needs support in life from time to time. It’s been an extremely humbling experience, and, overall, I have learned just how fortunate I am to have such great people and resources in my life. YAC has motivated me to seek out and help those who are less fortunate. Everyone should have an equal shot at life and YAC is one of the organizations that allows you to see firsthand what giving that opportunity to someone is like. “

Sam Sircely

Future Plans: My future plans are to attend college and major in biology to go into the medical field.

“First, I would like to say YAC impacted my life in many ways. The first and most impactful for me personally was the family I had through YAC. I was able to form connections and friendships with the other youth in my community that I otherwise may not have been able to form. The second was the ability to help in my community and make a difference for those who needed it. “