Food pantry fully stocked with cans and bags of food

Youth Council

AAACF's Youth Council provides high school students living in Washtenaw County with a unique opportunity to make a meaningful difference in our community through philanthropy and community service.

Youth Council brings together a diverse group of 25 students living in Washtenaw County County who work together to:

Group of 4 youth council students working together on white board

  • Promote philanthropy and service among young people,
  • Award over $85,000 in grants each year to support local youth programs, services and projects,
  • Participate in state-wide leadership training opportunities, including a summer grantmaking conference hosted by the Council of Michigan Foundations,
  • Provide hands-on support for community service projects,
  • Give voice and perspective to issues that concern young people, and
  • Conduct a community-wide needs assessment every 3-4 years.

Youth Council has taught me to always value and consider the perspectives of others. It has taught me about the discrepancies in my community and the world. It has taught me that I have the power to make a difference."

Charles Butz, 2013-2017

One Youth Council member serves on AAACF's Board of Trustees with full voting privileges.

Group of 5 youth council members at table working together

Youth Council members gain a deep understanding of our community's needs and issues related to youth, our local nonprofit sector, and how philanthropy and volunteering can make a meaningful difference in strengthening our community.

It’s a tradition that began in 1989 with a challenge grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Both Kellogg and AAACF recognized that given the opportunity, young people can provide an important voice and vehicle for strengthening local communities.

Since 1989, 266 high school students have served on AAACF’s Youth Council, awarding over $2 million in grants that have supported a wide variety of youth programs and projects throughout Washtenaw County.

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