It is bittersweet when each Youth Advisory Committee year comes to a close. All the hard work that has been accomplished is reviewed and celebrated. This year, the committee started a new Teachers Youth Needs Survey, which gathered information to help with grant-making decisions. They hosted the second 100 Youth Who Care with attendance numbers doubled from last year. They raised over $3,000 for their endowment and they granted out over $4,000. Sadly, this time of year means the committee will be losing amazing teenagers who have been involved with this program for multiple years as they spread their wings and fly into the next chapter of their lives.

Let’s see where the 2019 YAC graduates are headed off to make their mark in the world and what being in YAC meant to them:

“Next fall, I will be attending North Central Michigan College for a New Media certificate. I then plan on going to a four-year institution where I will major in Communications and minor in Business. YAC has shown me how important leadership is within one’s community” –  Katie Bowen, Gaylord High School

“I plan to attend Alpena Community College in the fall to continue my general education. I hope to grow my education in order to have a career in journalism. In my opinion, the importance of YAC is to be able to make a difference in the community that I live in and make the biggest impact possible through grants that are given.” – Kaitlyn Campbell, Johannesburg-Lewiston High School

“I will be attending Eastern Michigan University to study Political Science, then I want to attend law school. The importance of YAC for myself is that I’ve loved making a difference in the community, and being able to see the difference in effect. I have also enjoyed being able to be more involved.” – Elizabeth Eaton, Johannesburg-Lewiston High School

“After high school, I will be attending Wabash College. For me, YAC was a good way to have a positive impact on my community, as well as make new friends from around the county.” – Andrew Handley, Gaylord St. Mary Cathedral School

“I plan to pursue a degree in Library Science. YAC is important to me because it gave me the ability to impact the people around me.” – Noah Snyder, Vanderbilt High School

“After I graduate high school this year, I will stay in Gaylord for one more year as I complete my early college degree. After that, I plan to study Video Game Development in the hopes that I will create my own studio. YAC has helped me work with a large team and given me decision-making skills within a large group. I recommend YAC to anyone, it’s a great program!” – Elijah Yocum, Gaylord High School

“This group of graduating seniors are so special to me. When I joined as the co-advisor two years ago, Kaitlyn helped me in my new position by being sweet and insightful. Elizabeth reached out before she moved to the county to join YAC after being a member of another foundation’s YAC, sharing her already established grant-making knowledge. Katie, like Elizabeth, filled out her form before she moved to Gaylord and was later asked to join the OCF adult board of directors as one of the YAC representatives. Andrew always had a smile on his face and offered great discussion topics during meetings. Elijah made all new members feel welcome and like they were his new best friends. Noah, the first student of Vanderbilt High School to join YAC, who we met during a volunteer event, has been an asset ever since,” noted Karin Beyer, YAC Advisor. “Though I will miss these amazing youth I’m excited to see them reach for their dreams.”