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  • Writer's pictureBranch County Community Foundation

Empowering Youth Through Philanthropy: The Impact of Branch County Community Foundation's Youth Advisory Council

As another fruitful year draws to a close, the Branch County Community Foundation's Youth Advisory Council (YAC) took a moment this June to reflect on their endeavors, partnerships, and achievements with their families and the Branch County Community Foundation board and staff. From fostering community engagement to supporting local initiatives, YAC has been at the forefront of positive change in the Branch County and Colon community.

ABC Challenge 

YAC sponsored and volunteered at the ABC Challenge for the third consecutive year. Alongside this, they also took advantage of the time to do some YAC recruitment for the 2024-2025 school year.

5th Grade Presentations

A highlight of the year was the engagement with the community's younger members through presentations to 5th-grade classrooms. This year, YAC visited with the fifth-grade classes in Coldwater, Union City, and Bronson School Districts. These sessions not only educated the students about community philanthropy and YAC but also empowered them to participate in grant making, as they each chose a nonprofit to grant funds to. As a result, several organizations received much-needed financial support, amplifying the impact of YAC's efforts.

Christmas Shopping Event

In a heartwarming gesture, YAC revamped its annual Christmas Shopping Event, embracing a more personalized approach. Partnering with local schools, they identified families in need and provided them with essentials and gifts, spreading joy and alleviating financial burdens during the holiday season.

Grant Recipients

YAC's dedication to supporting local causes was further evident in their grant allocations. From funding educational programs to facilitating community events, their contributions totaled a remarkable $20,388.52, leaving a lasting imprint on various organizations and initiatives.

Hygiene Kits and Community Outreach

Continuing their commitment to community welfare, YAC expanded their reach by providing hygiene kits to students across all of Branch County and Colon. Partnering with local clinics and food pantries, they ensured that essential supplies reached those in need, furthering their mission of fostering inclusivity and support.

Looking Ahead: Upcoming Events and Initiatives

As they gear up for the future, YAC remains focused on its core objectives. With an upcoming needs assessment on the horizon, YAC is poised to address the most critical needs of youth in our community and amplify its impact. Recruitment efforts in underserved areas and proactive grant-making initiatives underscore its unwavering commitment to community empowerment.

Acknowledging Seniors and Celebrating Success

As the year comes to a close, we want to recognize the contributions of YAC’s senior members. Their dedication and service have driven YAC's mission forward, leaving a legacy of impact as they embark on new journeys.

  • Sydney Alatorre - 1 year of service, attending Kellogg Community College

  • Elly Brewer - 5 years of service, attending Western Michigan

  • Nathan Richer - 2 years of service, attending Trine University

  • Eric Rucker - 5 years of service, attending Princeton

  • Lydia Villa - 2 years of service, attending the University of Olivet

The 2023-2024 program year has been a testament to YAC's dedication to community service and youth empowerment. Through their collective efforts and partnerships, they have made a tangible difference in the lives of many, laying the groundwork for a brighter and more inclusive future in Branch County and beyond.

Anybody interested in joining YAC for the 2024-2025 school year is encouraged to visit our website at and apply today!


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