As summer has come to an end and students are back at school, we wanted to take a moment to highlight the incredible work of the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) and all the work they did over the summer months to prepare for this year's grant process.

YAC logo

YAC is made up of student leaders from various local high schools who are passionate about creating real community change. As part of their grant review process, these students visit nonprofits that have submitted youth-focused grant proposals to the Foundation. This summer, eight teams of YAC students participated in 16 separate nonprofit site visits.

These visits are an essential aspect of the YAC grant review process, as they allow students to ask clarifying questions about the proposals, get a better feel for the agency's mission, and see firsthand what they are trying to accomplish and how. As part of their YAC experience, students learn what aspects to consider as they review grant proposals and tour facilities.

Student speaking at mic
Chris presents to his YAC peers.

After the site visits are completed, the students create detailed presentations to share their experiences with their fellow YAC members. Each school decides as a group whether to fund the grant proposal in full, partially, or not at all. Because YAC has its own endowed fund, students also get to choose what project(s) their annual donation will support.

This year, YAC grants will be split between three organizations that were not fully funded with a standard competitive grant: Cancer Action, TNC Community, and Necessity Pantry At St. Michael's Episcopal Church. YAC representatives from each school also present their findings to the Foundation’s Community Grants Committee, who then use the information provided by the YAC members to guide their grant funding decisions.

The grant review process is one of the most unique parts of YAC and is repeatedly brought up for its ability to make students feel empowered. If you know a high school student who would be a good fit for YAC, please get in touch with Diana Castillo (, our Director of Grants and Donor Services, to learn more.

We are so proud of the work that these students are doing to create positive change in our community and look forward to seeing what they accomplish next.

YAC group pic outside