The Youth Advisory Committees (YAC) of the Community Foundation of Marquette County are proud to announce the distribution of 18 grants to nonprofits to support youth programming. There are three YAC groups in the county, including the Ishpeming, Marquette, and Negaunee areas, with members from local middle and high schools.

Despite the restrictions and hurdles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the groups have volunteered on several community projects and continue supporting local nonprofits with grants. As part of the $17,500 in grants awarded by YAC in 2020, a total of $4,000 directly involved funding for COVID-19 relief for nonprofits to purchase personal protective gear.

The groups also remain involved in community projects, volunteering time and efforts in several areas. Last fall, the Marquette YAC adopted a portion of the Iron Ore Heritage Trail that they help maintain throughout the year. The Greater Ishpeming YAC collected items to assemble hygiene packs that were distributed to 150 students from Ishpeming and NICE Community Schools. Program Associate and Marquette Area YAC Advisor Emma Schultz says the student members in YAC gain valuable experience as part of their involvement:

“The opportunity to learn leadership skills and network with nonprofits and community leaders is not only a great resume builder for young people, but it also shows them the importance of giving back to their communities. YAC is a unique program allowing students, sometimes from different schools, to come together and learn team building while being a part of something positive for the places where they live.”

Over 30 years ago, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation sponsored the Youth Challenge for Community Foundations program, encouraging the establishment and growth of youth endowment funds. Since then, funds have been used exclusively for grants allocated by youth advisory committees for youth programming through local nonprofits. Since being established, YAC has had over 100 students involved in various projects and grantmaking in Marquette County.

All of the YAC groups are currently looking for more student members to get involved. Students in grades 6-12 in Marquette County are eligible to apply. For more information or an application, please contact Emma Schultz at or 906-226-7666.