This year brought a new face and a new strategy to the Huron County Community Foundation Youth Advisory Committee (YAC).
In late 2014, a part-time YAC adviser was hired to oversee YAC projects and facilitate meetings. Emily Polega, a former teacher, assumed the position held by longtime YAC volunteer adviser, Jeanette Hagen. We would like to thank Jeanette for her years of service and for growing the YAC to the point where a part time, paid adviser became a necessity!
The youth grantmakers in 2014 had $5,000 worth of grants to award to improve the quality of life for Huron County youth. The YAC decided to take a proactive approach with half of their grant dollars, a new strategy for the group. Instead of the typical, receive grant applications, discuss, grant, process, the YAC approached the Hockey Association and awarded them half of their grant dollars, $2,500. This was the YAC's way of saying "We think the new hockey rink is a great idea!" The additional $2,500 was split between 4 projects: Bad Axe Project Playground for more courts and benches at the school, Sebewaing Township Library Summer Reading Program, Laker Middle Schools' "Beyond Classroom Walls" environmental stewardship program, and Blue Water Youth for Christ's "Friday Night Lights-5th Quarter Parties".
Annually, the YAC decides upon a service project and, as a committee, plans and implements the project during the school year. This year, the YAC planned Cardboard City, an event where high school students sleep on the lawn of the Huron County Courthouse to raise awareness for homelessness in Huron County. Even though the event was held on a brisk fall evening, youth from all across the county participated.