Youth Advisory Council
The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is the Community Foundation's youth philanthropy program. The group consists of adult mentors and young people ages 12-21 from Branch County and Colon, Michigan. Together, they address local youth needs, assist in fund development activities, and direct grantmaking toward youth programs. YAC is dedicated to improving our communities by involving youth in the visioning and decision-making process and giving them a voice to shape the future. YAC is open to youth ages 12-21 who attend Bronson, Coldwater, Colon, Pansophia, St. Charles, or Union City Schools.
You and your generation have the power to make change happen, to make our world a better place, not just in the future, but right NOW!
WHAT'S YOUR VISION FOR OUR COMMUNITY?
MEET NEW FRIENDS
BE A LEADER | HAVE A VOICE
GIVEN IN GRANTS EACH YEAR
Youth Needs Assessment
YAC conducted a survey of over 500 youth from Branch County to assess the issues that youth in our community are facing. YAC members will use the results of this assessment to make decisions on which youth programs and projects to fund. The top three major issues that worry local youth are below, but as you can see in the full report, young people have many other serious concerns including gun violence, family relationships, all types of abuse, homelessness, racism, teen trafficking, and more.
Mental health continues to top the list of youth issues with the top three concerns being Anxiety (60.8%), Academic Stress (50.5%), and Depression (58.3%).
Other top mental health concerns for youth included Bullying/Cyberbullying (53.2%), and Suicide (41.3%).
Many teens voiced concern about the prevalence of bullying and cyberbullying among their peers. Concern about bullying and cyberbullying increased by more than 13% since our last assessment.
45% of respondents expressed concern about substance abuse in teens and adults. Mental health problems such as depression, developmental
lags, apathy, withdrawal, and other psychosocial dysfunctions frequently are linked to substance abuse among adolescents.