The Branch County Community Foundation Youth Advisory Committee conducted a Community Youth Needs Assessment and requested community feedback in the form of an online survey. This 8-question survey was promoted online, through guidance counselors at the career center, through email communications, and by students and educators in each district. YAC was able to collect 500 responses before the survey closed and stopped taking responses. A breakdown of demographics for each recorded response is below:
The report briefly outlines the major issues identified by the assessment. Mental health continues to top that list with the top three concerns being Anxiety (64.4%), Academic Stress (62.6%), and Depression (63.8%). The next tier comes in with COVID-19 Related Mental Illness (47%), Bullying/Cyberbullying (40.4%), and Suicide (40.2%).
As identified in the graphic below, there are many other concerns for the youth of Branch County that should not be dismissed and deserve mention including Family Relationships, all types of abuse including Physical, Sexual, Emotional, and Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders, Homelessness, Hunger, Gender Identity/Sexual Orientation, Teen Pregnancy, Trafficking, Racism, and Violence, including gun violence. For a full list of concerns, please see the graphic below:
Also identified in this report are the activities that were identified as valuable to teens within our community. The top two areas that ranked as valuable are Programs that Explore Jobs and Career Prep (62.6%) as well as Arts, Writing, or Music Focused activities (61.4%). Following closely behind were Outdoor Experiences/Camps (54.8%), Homework Assistance and Tutoring (52%), and General Recreation (50.2%).
Other valuable areas were identified as Clubs with a Specific Focus, Mentoring Groups, Motivational Speakers/Presenters, Youth-led Programs, as well as Programs to Teach Skills, Martial Arts, and Time Management.
The Youth Advisory Committee will continue to survey the community every other year and will use the results to help plan for upcoming grant cycles.
2 West Chicago Street, Suite E1 Coldwater, MI 49036