THCF's Youth Advisory Council

Truman Heartland Community Foundation

Initiatives & Impact

Youth Advisory Council

Empowering Students to Change Their Communities Through Philanthropy

Nearly 120 students from 12 high schools in Eastern Jackson County are making a difference in the community through the Youth Advisory Council.

Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is represented by the following area high schools and welcomes participation from other metro school districts: Blue Springs, Blue Springs South, Fort Osage, Grain Valley, Lee’s Summit, Lee’s Summit North, Lee’s Summit West, Raytown, Raytown South, Truman, Van Horn and William Chrisman.

YAC Recruitment

YAC 2021 Recruitment Procedures:

1) Watch the video above.
2) Email Lynn Oltmanns at that you are interested in more information. She will provide Zoom meeting details for attending our upcoming meetings in March and April.
3) Attend the March and/or April Zoom meetings to "try YAC on for size."
4) You and your parent and/or guardian will need to attend a Zoom Parent Orientation in late April (schedule TBD).
5) You will be invited to submit your application to YAC after all these steps have been done. All applicants are accepted into the program!

Perks of Being a YAC Member

  1. Review Grant Proposals: YAC members provide valuable insight to the Truman Heartland grants committee. Each year, a team of YAC students review grant proposals from local youth-serving nonprofits and make on-site visits.
  2. Practice Philanthropy: In addition to making recommendations to the Truman Heartland grants committee, YAC awards grants to local nonprofits from their own endowment fund.
  3. Plan and Organize a Fundraiser: Each year, YAC plans and organizes a fundraiser for their endowment fund, which helps support grants given to projects that help area youth. The 2021 fundraiser, Wheels & Reels, will be held on Saturday, March 27th at William Chrisman High School in Independence. 
  4. Community Service: Throughout the year, YAC members have opportunities to volunteer with local nonprofits. In addition to serving their communities, students gain hands-on experience by working with potential and/or current grant recipients and become inspired to pursue their own philanthropic goals.
  5. Leadership Opportunities: In addition to being a part of the council itself, YAC members can become a part of the leadership team. Leadership team members organize team meetings, service opportunities and set the direction of key YAC initiatives, giving each student excellent leadership experience.
  6. Scholarships: Each year, graduating YAC seniors are eligible for two scholarship awards, the Henri E. Goettel Youth in Philanthropy Award and the Elizabeth Hill McClure Scholarship Award.

Blue Springs High School Team Leaders

Lou Bellinghausen
Allison Brown
Evie Grasinski

Blue Springs South High School Team Leaders

Kylie Aikens
Bradley Danley
Hope Swartz

Fort Osage High School Team Leaders

Rheanne Branstietter
Evan Funk
Kayla Roberts
Aubri Stewart

Grain Valley High School

Gabe Keeton
John "Jack" Martin

Lee's Summit High School Team Leaders

Claire Franciskato
Julianna Stramara

Lee's Summit North High School Team Leaders

Matthew Gerber
Kali Kirkpatrick
Maria Smith

Lee's Summit West High School Team Leaders

Keisha Kodidhi
Julianana Richardson

Raytown High School Team Leaders

Awah Asangwe

Raytown South High School Team Leaders

Chinecherem Ihenacho

Truman High School Team Leaders

Hadley Brillhart
Zoe Lewis

Van Horn High School Team Leaders

Kayla McDonald
Isabelle Muñoz
Stevie Watkins

William Chrisman High School Team Leaders

Autumn Handley
Christopher Navarro
Rebecca Stutzman

How Can I Help Fund YAC?

2 Ways to Support YAC:

  1. Give to the Foundation Fan Club to help support the expenses of the YAC program.
  2. Support the Youth Advisory Council’s Annual Endowment Fundraiser. This fundraiser supports the YAC endowment fund, which helps fund projects aiding our area youth, such as providing meals in the summer for children who normally rely on school lunches to feed them.

I cherish every moment I had, especially the opportunities to go out into my community and make a difference. I wish this wasn’t my last year in this wonderful program, but I’m grateful for the time I had.”

Holly Sullivan, YAC Team Leader

Have an idea for a youth-serving program? Apply for a Community Grant 


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