Name:  Mariah Beyer

Year Graduated: 2010 High School. Masters Program 2018

School: St Mary Cathedral High School, Undergrad: Oakland University, Masters: University of Phoenix: Secondary Education (Science and Physical Education)

What was your favorite part about YAC?  

Most definitely it was the ability to make a difference in our community. To have the foundation that allows youth to make decisions of grantmaking and allocate funds was empowering and uplifting.

What was most memorable?  

When I was involved with YAC, we reviewed and made decisions on teacher mini grants. After grantmaking training from Dana Bensinger, who was the YAC advisor at that time, we reviewed the grant applications and interviewed the teacher(s) who submitted the grant for funding. My senior year, my YAC partner, Cody Rivers, and I were given three mini grants to review and make recommendations. One of those grants was for an after-school program at Johannesburg-Lewiston schools. At that time the teachers involved with the program were supporting all purchases, from supplies to snacks, out of their own pockets. After the interview, we made the recommendation to the YAC committee to fund this program that offered support to working families who needed their children in a safe environment. It was rewarding to make an impact that positively affected the youth in our community.

What skills did YAC teach you that you apply to your current work life?

 I am the Ski School and Ski rental manager at Treetops Resort. YAC helped prepare me to collaborate with others in different divisions of the resort, take into consideration the perspectives of others and helped develop my leadership skills.

What is one important skill you learned from YAC? 

To listen. As a YAC member, I learned how to listen, talk and interact with adults as a teenager. I also learned that being a youth in our community can make an impact when you are listened to. This is a skill that I believe improves my proficiency in my job as I have youth as employees. I hope that I listen to their ideas and concerns.

What advice would you give to a new YAC member?

Take this time to embrace working with other youth, and to realize that everyone has different prospectives and life situations that can lead to different views with grantmaking. These different views will help you grow.

How are you involved with philanthropy at the present time?

I am proud that my family has an endowed fund with the Otsego Community Foundation and that I can use my grantmaking background to award funds to nonprofits in our community. I am also very excited to help develop and start the newest committee within the OCF, Up North Impact.  Stay tuned for more information on how YOU can be involved with this committee and philanthropy in this wonderful community.