Mission of Youth Council

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

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, hundreds of 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.

"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, former youth council member

Interested in Joining?

Youth Council Grants Meeting

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.

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

Applications are currently closed, but will open in the late spring of 2024 for the 2024-2025 membership year.

  • be entering 9th,10th or 11th grade in the fall of the application year (priority will be given to 9th and 10th graders)
  • live in Washtenaw County
  • attend 1-2 monthly meetings ranging from 3-5 hours in length (held on Sundays) at the Community Foundation Office in Downtown Ann Arbor from September -May
  • participate in an interview in September
  • participate in foundation wide events as needed
  • attend site-visits, team building activities, and volunteering opportunities
  • review, score, and provide insight into between 20-30 grant applications each year (outside of meeting times)
  • be expected to commit their time. Please see the sample calendar and sample agenda for a better idea of what is expected.

2023 Youth Council Grants

Grants totaling $117,000 have been made in support of local programs and projects that have expanded opportunities for young people throughout Washtenaw County.

  • Community Action Network (CAN)
  • Educate Youth
  • Girls Group
  • Hands Across the Water
  • Odindi Youth Action Village
  • Ozone House, Inc.
  • Student Advocacy Center
  • Washtenaw My Brother's Keeper (WMBK)

*To see the amount and purpose of these grants, please see our grant directory.