Category Archives: Events

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service 2019

The Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service is a chance for youth in their communities to engage in service projects to better the lives of those around them. On January 21, 2019, more than 50 members of the Ionia County Youth Advisory Council (YAC) packed 600 lunches at IM Kids 3rd Meal. The YAC is made up of students from all the schools in Ionia County, and even from Lowell- their objective is to produce effective servant leaders who engage in projects and designate grant funding for local people and or organizations who focus on advancing the youth of the community. One of the groups that the YAC works closely with is called IM Kids 3rd Meal.

IMG_9379Over 5000 children in Ionia and Montcalm counties are food insecure, meaning that they may not get the chance to eat three meals a day.  IM Kids 3rd Meal offers succor for these people and relies solely on volunteer groups to ensure its continuity. These meals and the thousands more that are distributed throughout Ionia and Montcalm counties are vital to the families that work hard to put food on their tables. If you want to get involved with IM Kids or are interested in receiving more information, head to the program’s website at

The Youth Advisory Council participates in other events throughout the year, as well. Projects like the annual Strive 2 Arrive Alive Teen Driver Safety Conference and the Michigan Youth Leadership training camp are entirely youth-planned and youth-led and rely on the leadership and altruism of a IMG_9381dedicated group of local teenagers.  Information on these events and other activities can be found under various tabs located at the top and side of this website. 

“Youth Advisory Council lends a hand for MLK Day”

(Article and picture credit to Jordan Carson and WOTV 4 Social Sizzle)

“IONIA, Mich. (WOTV)-During Martin Luther Kin, Jr. Day, local students are lending a hand. Here are a few of the ways that students are giving back, in celebration. The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is comprised of high school students from six surrounding schools in the county. The YAC consists of students from Belding, Ionia, Lakewood, Lowell, Portland, and Saranac schools. They gather once a month to discuss issues affecting youth in their communities and to take action on important youth causes.

“At the January meeting, the YAC welcomed their Stepping Toward Educational Progress; Underachievement Perishes (STEP UP) 8th grade mentees, to help pack dentistry, hygiene, and hat/mitten/scarf bags. Students worked together to make 500 hundred  bags to give to the IM KIDS 3rd MEAL program, and local food pantries. The YAC also had the opportunity to listen to Erin Roberts, the Executive Director from Relief After ViolentEncounter, speak about the importance of daily supplies for children and families. Without programs that reach out to the community, like the YAC and STEP UP, many people in need would go without. The essential packages ensure that people in the community have critical supplies. Students are making a big difference by giving to others. Through packages like these, many families will have one less need to fill.

‘The Cool To Be Kind challenge is our way to improve the kindness we already have in our school.’ – Brittany Munson, GHS 12

“Both groups also decorated a total of 200 bookmarks for the Students Rebuild Save the Children & Global Nomads Group. The bookmarks will be sent to children internationally, as a motivational tool for reading. These will be sent in for the Bezos Family Foundation to donate $1—up to $300,000—to Save the “Children’s LiteracyBoost” program. These programs are helping children around the globe, including in Latin America (Peru), Africa (Mali), and Asia (Nepal).

‘This challenge is just one more way to bring our students together and create more kindness in our school. And we will have fun doing so.’ –  Alec Fowler, GHS 11

“By participating in these projects, local students are helping to strengthen other communities. One of the YAC co-chairs, Hannah Lufkin expressed, “This meeting was a blast! I think that the YAC working together to help out community organizations like this is very important. It’s a fun way for us to give back. Volunteering in our community is important to the YAC as a whole.” In doing service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., students find they can make a positive change in the world, just as he has. The YAC is able to improve education, health care, and literacy for communities. The key to great success is working together, and local students are stepping up to secure this dream.”photo-1-3



3rd Annual Teen Driver Safety Conference: Oct. 18th 2013

We, Ionia County Youth Advisory Council, are hosting our 3rd Annual Teen Driver Safety Statewide Conference on October 18, 2013 in Holland, Michigan at the DoubleTree by Hilton.  This event is youth-led and will showcase our DRIVE TO SURVIVE (D2S) Initiative.  This initiative is sponsored by State Farm.

The 3rd Annual Teen Driver Safety Statewide Conference welcomes over 300 students from different communities in Michigan.  This year, to help implement, we are partnering with the Holland Police Department and students from Ottawa County schools.  The conference focuses on spreading awareness of the risks of distracted driving through presentations of personal stories, shocking statistics, simulations, and other impactful means.  Youth organize and present at this even to promote:

“If you want to text and talk, you should probably walk;
“Pull your seat belt snug, give it an extra tug;
“Stay alive, don’t drive and drive.”

Our goal is to have students leave a safer driver.

A number of activities have been planned: from four keynote speakers and eight breakout sessions to eleven simulations and twelve vending tables.  This is organized to provide information from key stakeholders in Michigan on the issue of distracted driving and teen driver safety.

Stay up to date on Drive To Survive via our FB page –>