Young Volunteers: The Benefits of Community Service
Our youth are increasingly looking for opportunities to improve our community and school programs. Youth volunteerism builds discipline, respect for others, develops leadership skills, and interactions with students that they might not otherwise encounter. These youth volunteers are driven to give back to their community and school. Often, they enjoy engaging with adults.
The personal benefits of community service are very rewarding. Youth that are involved in community or school service groups are likely to have a strong work ethic, learn to manage their time, and less likely to get into trouble.
The Cadillac Area Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) was established in 1990. Over the 28 years more than 700 students have been a part of the group. The Cadillac and Kellogg for Youth Committee is part of the Michigan Community Foundations’ statewide Youth Project (MCFYP) funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. This program was initiated to build community foundation capacity, to establish youth as philanthropists, and to build permanent and growing funds within each community to meet local youth needs.
As part of the commitment, every three years the Youth Advisory Committee completes a Youth Needs Assessment Survey of students in 5th through 12th grade. The Needs Assessment results are then used when evaluating the necessity of the projects and programs they receive grant applications for. The YAC students take this responsibility very serious, and they discuss in detail the needs of each grant submitted before making a final decision.
The Youth Advisory Committee has awarded more than $538,000 to programs and projects that address local youth needs and improve the lives of the youth in our community. The Youth Advisory Committee members have volunteered over 20,000 hours.
These young volunteers are committed youth leaders through a structured program of volunteerism, philanthropy, and personal development.