Hillsdale County Community Foundation YOUTH Awarded a College Positive Community Grant from the Kresge Foundation
Hillsdale County is on its way to becoming “college positive,” thanks to a Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) College Positive Challenge Grant supported by The Kresge Foundation and administered by the Council of Michigan Foundations.
The purpose of the YAC College Positive Community Challenge Grant program is to build a strong, statewide network of youth grantmakers that are proactively supporting college access and success and to leverage additional community dollars for local organizations that encourage a college positive community.
The Challenge Grant encouraged YACs to create partnerships with community groups such as mentoring and tutoring organizations, or to organize special projects that specifically engaged low-income, first generation and/or students of color. YACs could apply for up to $2,500 to be matched locally with new dollars, transferred dollars from their community foundation or spendable grant dollars from their YAC fund.
The HCCF YOUTH were awarded the maximum amount available, $2,500. The YOUTH will host a career fair to inform students and community members about the educational qualifications needed for popular career fields that will be represented at the fair. The career fair will be held at the Hillsdale County Senior Services Center from 6-8 pm on April 22nd. Professionals from several career fields have been invited to participate. The following career fields are expected to be represented:
• business & accounting
• computer science & technology
• social work
• veterinary science
• physical therapy & athletic training
• criminal justice
• auto mechanics
• culinary arts
• speech therapy
• family medicine
• graphic arts
All who attend the career fair and fill out a short survey and evaluation will be entered in a drawing to win an iPad mini.
The YOUTH have also funded display banners at each local high school, allowing students to sign their names when they apply and are accepted into post-secondary educational programs. The ultimate goal of both projects is to provide exposure to resources available for Hillsdale County residents of all ages to pursue their dreams of a successful career and equip individuals with the tools and knowledge to explore and attend postsecondary education.
Funds committed by YACs across the state totaled $55,400 and will be matched with funds from the Kresge Foundation for a total of $110,800 in support of college positive projects in Michigan.
“The Kresge Foundation is delighted to support the YACs, and it’s exciting to see how creative and resourceful these young people are in identifying needs and opportunities in their communities. Every Michigan student deserves the chance to pursue and succeed in education beyond high school, and these types of grassroots efforts are an important part of making that happen,” said Kresge Senior Program Officer Caroline Altman Smith.
A Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) is a youth grantmaking body of a community foundation with a permanently endowed youth fund. The YACs focus on serving community youth by addressing issues of concern and importance through grantmaking from the revenue earned on the youth endowment. The Hillsdale County Community Foundation YOUTH was established in October of 1991. The YOUTH Advisory Council has an ongoing program for studying the assets, needs, and concerns of the young people of Hillsdale County. YOUTH has a special endowment fund, initially made possible by a challenge grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, to make available grant dollars to benefit and involve young people in Hillsdale County.