What is GladYAC?

The Gladwin County Youth Action Council (GladYAC) is a group of energetic youth, from secondary schools all over Gladwin County, that is learning about philanthropy. GladYAC was started in the summer of 2004. Initial funding came from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation in the form of a $1,000,000 grant to establish a youth endowment. YACs give students the opportunity to learn generosity in the only practical way--by being generous. Students learn to meet community challenges by raising funds for good causes. They learn to be good stewards through having to make the tough decisions required in good grantmaking. They learn to serve, and through serving, they learn to lead.

YACs are structured just like their community foundation "parents" in many ways. They have governing boards, and operations are carried out by a number of committees. The youth develop and continue to modify their own operations. Current committees include a Grants Committee and a Public Relations and Fund Raising Committee.

What Do YACs Do?

YAC members wear many hats. They are grantmakers, making grants to local nonprofit organizations for projects which are directed at meeting youth needs. They are researchers, doing periodic needs assessments of county youth to determine what the most serious youth issues are so they might be addressed. They are community volunteers, and have proudly served in ways as diverse as adopting a city park, bell-ringing for the Salvation Army, pairing with elementary-age children for recreational activities, and shopping for Sharing Tree gifts. They are successful fund raisers, developing fun and creative ways to increase their grantmaking capabilities. They are leaders, honing their skills at board and committee meetings, summer leadership camps, and by making presentations about their work to various civic groups. What do YACs do? They MAKE A DIFFERENCE, and have fun doing so!

How Important is This Project?

Tomorrow's government officials, chief executive officers, and philosophers are being trained right here--right now. Perhaps more importantly, so are our future teachers, scout leaders, softball coaches and community foundation trustees.

You see, youth grow up to become adults who work with youth. When we invest in the development of today's young people, we are really investing in the development of the next generation, and the next, and the next.

As summarized by Abraham Lincoln, "Children are the persons who are going to carry on what we have started. They are going to sit where we are sitting, and when we are gone, attend to those things which we think are important. We may adopt all the policies we please, but how they are carried out depends on them. They will assume control of our cities, states and nations. They are going to take over our churches, schools, universities and corporations. The fate of humanity is in their hands."

What Can You Do?

  1. If you are a Gladwin County middle or high school student...GET INVOLVED!
  2. If you are a parent, teacher or counselor...ENCOURAGE A YOUNG PERSON TO JOIN US!
  3. If you are affiliated with a youth-serving nonprofit organization...ASK ABOUT OUR GRANT PROGRAM!Check the grantmaking section in this web site for more information.
  4. If you are a person concerned about the future of our youth and our community...SUPPORT US WITH YOUR DOLLARS! Make checks payable to the Midland Area Community Foundation, Kellogg Youth Fund.

Parting Note

GladYAC is a project of the Midland Area Community Foundation, and made possible through the Council of Michigan Foundations and supported by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. For more information, contact the Midland Area Community Foundation.