Stories from the Midland Area Community Foundation

Youth Action Council celebrates a triumphant return to normal operations

June 30th, 2022

The Midland Area Youth Action Council concluded its 2021-2022 cycle with a celebratory banquet on Friday, June 3rd. The Council comprises youth from 6th-12th grade living in or attending school in Midland County. Once a month, this student-led group comes together to assess and meet the needs of young people in Midland County through grantmaking and volunteering. The Youth Action Council makes up the youth branch of the Midland Area Community Foundation. It can provide funding to organizations seeking to improve the lives of Midland-area youth thanks to its endowment from the Kellogg Foundation.

The 2021-2022 year was exciting and nostalgic for several members of the Council. After executing the previous cycle entirely over zoom, the Youth Action Council returned to its basement space in the Midland Area Community Foundation. For many, it was their first time experiencing a “proper” meeting:

“While [Zoom] meetings were fun and effective, being in the basement with the other members provides a more high-energy experience,” said rising Dow High Senior Emily Ammerman. “The move has brought the Council closer, and we now have an even stronger desire to help the youth in our community.”

In total, the group granted $70,000 in the form of large grants to various groups supporting Midland County youth. Some recipients included Safe and Sound Child Advocacy Center, the Bullock Creek Youth Football League, and Meridian Public Schools. Additionally, the Council gifted approximately $16,000 in smaller grants, primarily awarded to Midland County teachers.

This year was also special thanks to the work of the Grants Committee, led by Grants Chair Charlotte Ault. The Council heard from previous grant recipients, such as the Child Advocacy Center and the Legacy Center, to learn how Council’s funding made a difference for their organizations.

“There are a lot of really interesting grants that we have funded recently,” said Ault. “The Committee and I are super excited to follow up on them next year.”

The Youth Action Council also made strides in its inclusivity efforts this year. The Council held a workshop led by Dr. Ken Jolly and Dr. Gina Wilson. In this workshop, students had the opportunity to discuss topics such as microaggressions and unconscious bias and what to do when they encounter these issues around them.

“It was such an enriching and thought-provoking experience, one I will never forget,” said Jessica Chai, rising Dow High Sophomore. “Learning about micro aggressions and unconscious biases are some of the most important and impactful lessons to learn in life, and knowing how to respond in a respectful yet effective manner is a vital skill.”

The group’s seniors were recognized to conclude the banquet, and the new officers were acknowledged. The Council saw ten graduating seniors, four returning officers, and four new officers. Amelia Hatfield will succeed outgoing President Kenny Gu. Sydney Thompson, Charlotte Ault, and Zaky El-Nachef will retain their roles as Vice President, Grants Chair, and Secretary. Ayesha Middha will hold the position of Public Relations Officer. Jessica Chai and Paloma Jolly will assume the newly instituted roles of Inclusion co-chairs for the Council’s Midland Youth Inclusivity Committee.

This news release was written by the Midland Area Youth Action Council’s Public Relations Officer, Amelia Hatfield. If you or anyone you know would like to learn more about the Youth Action Council or how to get involved in the 2022-23 cycle, don’t hesitate to contact the Midland Area Community Foundation at 989-839-9661 or email Youth Impact Coordinator Sara JacobsCarter at