Category Archives: Uncategorized

YAC’s First Meeting of the Year!

The Youth Advisory Council met for the first time this school year on September 29th, 2016. 47 students from all 7 schools attended, including Pewamo-Westphalia, who recently joined the group.

We had a great first meeting! Students volunteered at Green Acres and Heartland Health Care Center in Ionia. Everyone had a great time interacting with residents!

YACers play board games with residents at Heartland Health Care Center
YAC at Green Acres
A resident gets her nails painted by YACers

Thank you for having us, Green Acres and Heartland!

2016 Michigan Youth Leadership Camp

MIYLT 2016 was a huge success!

Nearly 50 campers attended to increase their leadership skills and have a life-changing week of adventure. This year, campers participated in teambuilding activities, cultural events, simulations, and service projects all while building friendships and exploring the outdoors. Campers and counselors alike left with new perspectives and skills that will last them a lifetime. When asked about the impact camp had on them one camper said, “it helped me define myself as a leader in the making and improved my skills so so much. I have come a long way.” Another camper said, “camp was powerful, it really made you think about life and human nature.” If you’re interested in attending next year’s camp, look out for registration opening in February 2017.

Check us out on WOTV4, here!

YAC’s 2016 Global Youth Service Day

Our project called PACK’ed (Prepared, Assembled by Caring Kids) by YAC (Ionia County’s Youth Advisory Council) ​took​ place on April 20, 2016. The YAC, a youth led organization ​that ​​engage​d​ in direct service activities benefiting IM Kids 3rd Meal. ​During the school year, ​IM Kids 3rd Meal provides​ just​ over 4​71​ sack dinners to food insecure children​ in Montcalm and Ionia Counties​ Monday through Friday​. YAC students ​were ​put into groups and then complete​d​ stations​; ​making trail mix, balling melons, repackaging snack foods, decorating bags, making sandwiches​,​ and packing meals​ at the ​IM Kids 3rd Meal facility. Prior to our direct service day, the YAC members​ ​collect​ed​ food items at their individual schools to bring as a donation to IM Kids 3rd Me​al. The students enjoyed volunteering for their community and help feed food insecure children.​​​

   TrailMix1  packing1     042

Thank you!

IM_Kids_3rd_Meal_Color    C&S    GenOn   GYSD 2016 logo

Global Youth Service Day

GYSD 2015 logo

Ionia County Youth Advisory Council (YAC)
Awarded Global Youth Service Day Grant

The Ionia County YAC has received a $500.00 Global Youth Service Day mini grant in support of a project addressing childhood hunger. Awarded by the YSA (Youth Service America), the 2015 Disney Friends for Change Grant will engage area students in direct service work to benefit the IM Kids 3rd Meal Program.

friends for change logo

The YAC, Youth Advisory Council consists of students from all high schools in Ionia County and are a part of the Ionia County Community Foundation. They gather once a month to discuss issues affecting youth in our communities and to take action on important youth causes.

YSA Logo

The GYSD mini-grant allows Ionia County YAC students to organize a volunteer project that addresses a critical community need, Childhood hunger. 1 out of 5 children in Ionia county and 1 out of 4 children in Montcalm county are food insecure. They represent a local crisis for our communities as hunger prevents children from reaching their full potential.

IM Kids 3rd Meal is a feeding program, striving to end childhood hunger. They provide over 400 sack dinners to food insecure children Monday through Friday.

High school YAC students along with middle school students from our STEP UP program will meet at the IM Kids 3rd Meal facility on Friday, April 17, 2015 from 10 AM -12:00 PM to make trail mix, ball melons, repackage foods, and decorate bags for the meals.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact: Allison Peabody at 616-527-4900 ext. 1223 or at

IM_Kids_3rd_Meal_Color  YAClogo

We were on TV!

On October 2, 2013, we woke up extra early (3AM for some!) and traveled to Grand Rapids to visit the news-station of Wood TV 8.  We stood just outside the newsroom, loaded with Celebrate My Drive signs, a Drive to Survive banner, and students wearing this years D2S tee-shirts.  We had students from Portland and Saranac High Schools representing us, as well as a couple Ionia County Intermediate School District VISTAs, and the ICISD’s Deborah Wagner.  Our students were eager to wave those signs and smile  big for the camera each time they panned at us.  Not once did we complain about the slight chill or being on our feet for an hour and a half.  We were too excited for this!  Toward the end of Daybreak, news anchor Emily Linnert came out of interviewed Deb on live TV!

Thank you, Deborah!  You were amazing!  Thank you YAC students!  We couldn’t have done this without you!  And thank you Wood TV 8 for inviting us out and taking the time to come out and learn more about our programs!


Driving Tips for the Winter!

Winter weather is here, make sure that you and your teen are prepared for the weather conditions that you may encounter. 

Driving in
Snow and Ice
Sometimes, driving in the snow and ice may be unavoidable.  Have a discussion with your teen about what to do if they are caught in a snow or ice storm.

Tips to share with your teen driver:
Drive slow.
Drive in a low gear.
Stopping distances are longer in the snow and ice.
In general, if you have anti-lock brakes, apply firm, continuous pressure. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, pump the brakes gently.
If you find yourself in a skid, stay calm and ease your foot off the gas while carefully steering in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go. Stay off the pedals (gas and brake) until you are able to maintain control of your vehicle. This procedure, known as “steering into the skid,” will bring the back end of your car in line with the front.
Do not pass plow trucks.
Always turn on your headlights.
Always wear your seat belt.


UnderYOURInfluence NewsletterJanuary 2013

Ionia County YAC Receives Grant For Teen Driver Safety.


Money to help keep teens safe on the road and behind the wheel.

Learning how to drive is a big milestone in a teen’s life, yet being in the driver seat is one of the most dangerous places for a teen to be. Car crashes are the leading killer of teens in America today. The Ionia County Youth Advisory Council (YAC) Drive to Survive (D2S) teen driver safety initiative has received the YOUth in the Driver Seat Grant for $1,000 from Youth Service America (YSA) and State Farm Insurance.

This grant that YAC has received will help them implement a semester of service that encourages safe driving habits, community service and student achievement.  Advocating on their main three areas for teen driver safety and slogans:

“Pull your seatbelt snug, give it an extra tug.”
“If you want to text and talk, you should probably walk!”
“Stay alive. Don’t drink and drive.”

Along with creating awareness, YAC will propose their solution and tools to use to generate support for addressing teen driver safety with service-learning throughout the state with peers, parents, teachers and partners.

The YOUth in the Driver Seat Grant will help the YAC students continue to expand D2S by reaching more people to create good driving habits with the hope to save a life.


To learn more about YAC, their efforts and the D2S initiative check out the links to their Facebook Pages.