Youth Grant Committee

Engaging the Next Generation in Philanthropy

Students from public, private and home-school high schools throughout greater Grand Rapids make up Grand Rapids Community Foundation's Youth Grant Committee (YGC). During the school year, members meet and assess youth issues, develop a request for proposals process to address those needs, follow up with previous grantees, conduct interviews and site visits and present grant recommendations to the Community Foundation's Board of Trustees.

YGC Rocks

So many reasons to be part of YGC

The Youth Grant Committee presents an awesome opportunity for local high school students to gain leadership experience while working as part of a diverse team to make decisions that make a real impact. Students learn about the nonprofits in our community working to meet the needs of youth. They also conduct a grant process—ultimately awarding around $50,000 to programs that they deem right for support.

Just as important are the friendships that students make with kids from different schools and backgrounds. In addition to monthly meetings, students take part in team-building activities and service projects.

Meet the Committee Members

YGC 2016–2017

We are thrilled to have this great group of teens as part of our Community Foundation!

  • Payton Bidwell, Kent Innovation
  • Ava BooydeGraaff, Grand Rapids Christian
  • Madeira BooydeGraaff, Grand Rapids Christian
  • Imani Brigham, East Kentwood
  • Randall Bryant, Rockford
  • Khya Carter, East Kentwood
  • Adriana Cross, Northview
  • Livia Dietrichson, East Grand Rapids
  • Deunique Dorris, City High
  • Jaquawn Dorris, City High
  • Trey Droste, City High
  • Joseph Felkers, Catholic Central
  • Cody Garrison, Union High
  • Aiden Hascall, Forest Hills Central
  • Ava Hascall, Forest Hills Central
  • Jake Kooyer, Northview
  • Mackenzie Kraus, West Catholic
  • John Lown, Catholic Central
  • Sarah Mackson, East Grand Rapids
  • Bryan Marmol, West Michigan Aviation Academy
  • Denali Mayweather, East Grand Rapids
  • Emily Nelson, Grand Rapids Christian
  • James Ozinga, Calvin Christian
  • Harumi Patzy, Northview
  • Antony Pena, Union High
  • Lauren Rechner, Forest Hills Eastern
  • Anna Rosloniec, Catholic Central
  • Natalee Ryder, Northview/Kent Innovation
  • Christina Vann, West Michigan Aviation Academy
  • Riley Wilson, City High
  • Ethan Wolter, East Grand Rapids
  • Macie Zack, East Grand Rapids

Join the YGC

Become a member of the Youth Grant Committee

Membership in YGC is open to any Grand Rapids area high school student interested in serving their community and willing to volunteer their time. More than 200 area students have served on the Committee over the past 10 years, with many of them serving through all four years of high school. Applications are accepted each spring and decisions are made in August. 

Get In Touch

How to Apply for a Grant

The Youth Grant Committee Considers Requests Annually

  1. 1 Determine eligibility

    Any 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization with programs that benefit youth is eligible to apply. Typically, the Request for Proposals (RFP) is available in late December of each year. 

  2. 2 Submit your proposal

    Proposals should address specific youth issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, stress, teen pregnancy and other issues. Proposals should address one of the identified youth needs, be creative and well-defined, and demonstrate broad community impact. An evaluation component and a plan for on-going funding should be included as well. Typically, proposals are due in mid-February. Grant awards are announced the following May.

Awarded Grants

Grants Awarded in May 2016

Recipient

Amount

Date

Purpose

  • Women's Awareness Club

    Amount Awarded: $500

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To enable the club to host multiple events during the month of April in solidarity with Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

  • West Michigan Environmental Action Council

    Amount Awarded: $3,000

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To establish of pipeline of experiences for  high school youth to learn and engage in environmental action in Grand Rapids.

  • West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology (WMCAT)

    Amount Awarded: $2,500

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To support teen artists from the WMCAT in completing a place making, public mural in Wilcox Park.

  • Urban Roots GR

    Amount Awarded: $2,500

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To support the development of our neighborhood urban farm site and experiential youth education programs at Urban Roots.

  • Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

    Amount Awarded: $2,700

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To support a five-week summer mentorship, internship, and hands-on arts class for kids ages 14-18 that give teens real-life work experience in the creative arts.

  • Union High School

    Amount Awarded: $3,500

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To provide college/university campus tours for students in 4th through 12th grades, along with their teachers and some parents.

  • STEM Greenhouse, Inc

    Amount Awarded: $2,000

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To support an after school Girls Math club designed to educate and inspire girls to excel in mathematics.

  • SLD Read

    Amount Awarded: $4,500

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To support at-risk 1st -3rd grade free or reduced lunch students who are significantly below grade level in reading and spelling but do not qualify for special education.

  • Roosevelt Park Ministries

    Amount Awarded: $2,000

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To provide environmental, intellectual, physical, emotional,
    occupational, and social experiences – five days per week, afterschool
    from 3:30-6:00pm.

  • Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan

    Amount Awarded: $3,000

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To provide comprehensive sexuality education programming to youth ages
    12-19 who are housed in the Juvenile Detention Center in Grand Rapids

  • Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports

    Amount Awarded: $3,500

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To assist the Jr. Pacers wheelchair basketball team in their season costs.

  • Grand Rapids Track Club Summer Youth Program

    Amount Awarded: $3,500

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To provide youth from the Grand Rapids area an opportunity to participate in a summer youth track and field program.

  • Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center

    Amount Awarded: $2,500

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To teach writing skills to urban youth in a positive summer learning experience and publish their work.

  • Girls Growing II Women, Inc.

    Amount Awarded: $3,000

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To provide teens ages 14-18 with the resources to feel included and
    valued while equipping them for their future opportunities of success.

  • D.A. Blodgett-St. John's

    Amount Awarded: $3,000

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To expand the Sisters In Support program meet the needs of 30 young moms currently on the waiting list for mentors.

  • Better Wiser Stronger Inc.

    Amount Awarded: $3,000

    Date Awarded: May. 2016

    To provide an experiential, meaningful opportunity for successful life outcomes for teen males ages 13-18.

Youth Grant Committee FAQ

Thinking About a YGC Grant for Your Organization?

Here's everything you need to know about youth grants from Grand Rapids Community Foundation and how to apply for funds.

  • Any 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization with programs that benefit youth is eligible to apply. Proposals should address specific youth issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, stress, teen pregnancy and other issues. Call the Grand Rapids Community Foundation at 616.454.1751 if you have questions. Proposals should address one of the identified youth needs, be creative and well-defined, and demonstrate broad community impact. An evaluation component and a plan for on-going funding should be included as well.

  • The money available for grants comes from income generated by a $1.8 million Youth Fund, which is held in permanent endowment by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. The Youth Fund was established in 1991 with $1 million in matching funds from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 

    Approximately $45,000 in grants is available annually.

  • In the last two decades, we have awarded more than one million dollars to local nonprofits. We particularly like to support programs that are unique, exhibit a great deal of creativity and incorporate youth leadership.

  • Membership in YGC is open to any Grand Rapids area high school student interested in serving their community and willing to volunteer their time. More than 200 area students have served on the Committee over the past 10 years, with many of them serving through all four years of high school. Membership applications are available each April and new members are selected in August. 

  • Youth across the state of Michigan are active serving their communities and addressing issues of concern. Learn more about Michigan's many Youth Advisory Committees by visiting the Michigan Community Foundation Youth Project's website.