Youth Leadership


Working with youth and youth-serving nonprofits in the region, we support programs that give young people a voice in their communities and help them gain leadership experience.

The Community Foundation’s Youth Leadership project was established in 1991 with a $1 million challenge grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. These funds established an endowed youth fund that would, in perpetuity, involve young people in reviewing grant proposals from organizations that benefit youth in southeast Michigan.

For more than 20 years, our middle school- and high school-aged youth advisors have recommended 196 youth-serving grants totaling more than $1.3 million.

These grants have had a real impact on growing youth leaders at nonprofit organizations across the region.

The Youth Leadership project makes several grants each year that typically range in size from $2,500 to $20,000. The grants are made to local nonprofit organizations or school districts proposing a project that will either involve youth in the development of the program or will build opportunities for youth leaders.

“I am involved in YAC to help all of the youth that face issues inside Michigan. My favorite part about YAC is being able to fund an issue that is very close to me or something that I have experience with.

My most memorable experience with YAC was when we went on a site visit to Mosaic Youth Theatre. Actually seeing the impact of a grant has inspired me to work harder and do more.”

 Malcolm Massey

Recent examples of grants from Youth Leadership include:

  • Neutral Zone received $19,450 to develop a youth leadership team to guide the agency-wide use of restorative practices, and help train other youth organizations to replicate a sense of belonging and mattering.
  • Detroit Horse Power received $10,000 to establish a Youth Leadership Council

Apply for a Youth Leadership Grant

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Interested in being a YAC member?

Click to Apply

Youth Advisory Committee

If you are looking to make a difference in your community and other communities in need, participating on the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) might be a great fit. The YAC meets monthly and evaluates grant applications and makes recommendations to fund projects and programs that support youth organizations in southeast Michigan. The YAC is a unique opportunity to learn about philanthropy, grantmaking, volunteerism, and also a place to help you develop and strengthen your leadership skills.

Stay Connected

Questions? Feel free to contact

Harmony Rhodes

Program Associate
313.961.6675
Contact Harmony