Adapt. Adjust. Be flexible. These words seem to be key themes in our lives right now.

We’re especially leaning into this mindset as our youth programming kicks off in tandem with the 2020-2021 school year. The youth in our community—and YAC members in particular—have demonstrated resilience with the ever-changing landscape of how their education and extra-curriculars are being delivered.

At the foundation, we’ve adapted and adjusted, and are remaining flexible not only in how we deliver programming to our YAC, but in how we plan to spread philanthropy and our work to the youth in our community. We continue to focus on youth empowerment—specifically through mental & emotional, physical, and community & cultural wellbeing.

YAC has reviewed the 2019 Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey data, along with the new Ottawa County Youth website (where the data can be found), and is aiming to provide support specific to mental health, bullying, and substance abuse prevention. These numbers were on the rise pre COVID-19 and have likely increased since then. We’ll continue to share facts and statistics on youth in our county and what we’re doing to impact positive change.

Be sure to follow YAC on Facebook and Instagram, where we’ll be sharing youth-focused metal health tips (coping skills, tools, strategies, meditation, and mindfulness), as well as ways for youth to be empowered and stay involved and engaged in our work and community.

We’ll also be seeking youth input in our work, as well as on things like:

  • what do diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to you?
  • what are ways we can improve the community for youth?
  • what is important to you?

We’ll provide and share resources based on the input we receive. We know that this year is looking very different and we’re excited to pivot and provide relevant and timely content to our youth community.

We are here for youth, by youth.

 

2020 – 2021 Youth Advisory Council Roster
*New YAC members are italicized

12TH GRADE

Grand Haven
Coryn French
Madigan Lautzenheiser
Ian Rant – Treasurer
Madison Rogers – Chair and Grants & Program Committee Rep
Oliver Shampine
Lauren Smelker
Angela Tran

Home School
Sophia Raha

11TH GRADE

Grand Haven
Gavin Hubner
Aashray Mandala – Vice Chair
Lexi Naperala
Jacob Marcus
Elena Yu

Spring Lake
Ryann Gilchrist
Sadie Williams

10TH GRADE

Grand Haven
Paige Peterson
Jake Roberson
Clara Thelen

Spring Lake
Caroline Henry

For more information about our youth advisory council, email Lauren Grevel, Education & Youth Initiatives Officer, at lgrevel@ghacf.org.