THCF's Youth Advisory Council

Initiatives & Impact

Youth Advisory Council

Want to Influence Funding in Your Community?

Find your voice for change with Truman Heartland’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC)! YAC was formed to involve young leaders in changing their communities through philanthropy. With more than 190 students, YAC carries a strong voice in the community. 

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, Summit Christian Academy, Van Horn and William Chrisman.

6 Perks of Being a YAC Member

  1. Review Grant Proposals—Each year, YAC members review grant proposals from programs concerned with problems like domestic violence and teen homelessness, as well as community arts programming and education. Decisions are tough but rewards are great as students change the future for their peers.
  2. Practice Philanthropy: Choose grants to receive funds from YAC’s own endowment (more at #3 below), and decide how much money to give each chosen grants.
  3. Fundraising for a Cause—Each year, YAC throws a fundraiser for their endowment fund, which helps support grants given to projects that help area youth. Last year’s fundraiser, Strike in the Night-Give to Infinity and Beyond, raised more than $4,000. The event’s activities included bowling games, unlimited photo booth photos, and much more!
  4. Community Service—Throughout the year, YAC members are provided numerous opportunities to perform community service with our nonprofit partners. In addition to serving their communities, students experience the work of potential 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 our leadership team. Leadership team members run team meetings, set up service opportunities, and make decisions about the direction of YAC going forward, 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.

How are YAC Members Selected?

Recruitment meetings are held mid-year (December & January) at each high school for those interested in becoming involved. The faculty and staff at participating high schools are very involved helping THCF determine YAC membership. Potential members are expected to demonstrate leadership potential and an interest in serving others’ needs. Students interested can contact current leadership members, shown below, at any time.

Blue Springs High School Team Leaders

Lou Bellinghausen
Allison Brown
Evie Grasinski

Blue Springs South High School Team Leaders

Alivia Brewer
Hayden Kolster
Jackie Wilson

Fort Osage High School Team Leaders

Rheanne Branstietter
Rachel Rellihan
Aubri Stewart

Lee's Summit High School Team Leaders

Morgan Hecker
Sophia Penland

Lee's Summit North High School Team Leaders

Devin Allaman
Kali Kirkpatrick
Maria Smith

Lee's Summit West High School Team Leaders

Meghana Bhumireddy
Keisha Kodidhi

Raytown High School Team Leaders

Bella Contreras
Presley Stewart
Iris Vazquez

Raytown South High School Team Leaders

Donovan Cusick
Seth King
Luis Rocha

Truman High School Team Leaders

Hadley Brillhart
Kaitlyn Kendall
Zoe Lewis

Van Horn High School Team Leaders

Dominic Torres

William Chrisman High School Team Leaders

Chase Johnson
Christa Johnson
Christopher Navarro

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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