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!

Strive 2 Arrive Alive School Registration

If your school is interested in attending the 6th Annual Strive 2 Arrive Alive Teen Driver Safety Conference on October 26th, 2016 from 8 am to 2 pm at Celebration! Cinema Grand Rapids North (2121 Celebration Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525), please fill out the following forms. Bus grants for transportation to and from the conference are also available.

Lunch will be provided for all conference guests.

Each attending school must register here and fill out a school sign in form:

6th Annual State-Wide Teen Driver Safety Conference School Registration

Conference Sign In 2016

Each attending student must have filled out a minor release form:

Minor Release

Bus grants are available below and must be returned to Deborah Wagner by November 4th, 2016.

Bus Grant for Teen Safety Conference

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.​​​

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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 apeabody@ioniaisd.org.

IM_Kids_3rd_Meal_Color  YAClogo

“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



YAC on eightWest!

Today, our very own Deborah Wagner and Chloe Alberta were interviewed on eightWest!  Check out the video here:

You two were amazing!  Thank you!  And thank you to the team of Wood TV 8 and eightWest  for helping us bring more attention to our efforts!