Youth Grant Committee

Engaging Students in Philanthropy

Students from public, private and home-school high schools throughout greater Grand Rapids make up Grand Rapids Community Foundation's Youth Grant Committee. During the school year, Youth Grant Committee members meet and assess youth issues, develop a request for proposals process to address those needs, follow up with previous grantees, conduct interviews and site visits and award grants.

Donate to the Youth Fund

Youth Grant Committee presents an awesome opportunity for local high school students to gain leadership experience while working as part of a diverse team to make decisions that make a real impact.


Youth Grant Committee, explained by its members. Produced by Sparsh Aiyar.

2022 Needs Assessment Survey Results

The Youth Grant Committee at Grand Rapids Community Foundation conducts a Needs Assessment Survey of high schoolers in Kent County every other year. View the full report here.

Meet the Committee Members

YGC 2023-2024

We are thrilled to have this great group of teens as part of our Community Foundation!

  • Krish Agarwal, Forest Hills Eastern High School
  • Sparsh Aiyar, City High Middle School
  • Kaitlynn Araujo, The Potter's House Middle School
  • Alexander Bartish, West Catholic High School
  • Caebre Baty, Grand Rapids Christian
  • Jerry Benedict, Grand Rapids Christian
  • Christian Boyce, Forest Hills Northern High School
  • Kimani Brame, East Kentwood High School
  • Jazpe Cano, Southwest Community Campus
  • Kenna Charbauski, Forest Hills Northern High School
  • Lendy Chavez-Aguilar, Catholic Central High School
  • Hannah Chun, Grand Rapids Christian
  • Orli Dujovny, East Grand Rapids High School
  • Ronen Dujovny, East Grand Rapids High School
  • Syncere Hobson, CA Frost Environmental Science Middle High School
  • Claire Jones, East Grand Rapids High School
  • Elaina Juarez, Godwin High School
  • Beatrice Kilburn, Northview High School
  • Isabel Landero, Lee High School
  • Lia Lin, City High Middle School
  • Juan Manuel Lopez Zamudio, Byron Center High School
  • Cydney McKinney, Godwin Heights High School
  • Ram Reddy, City High Middle School
  • Karina Rodriguez, City High Middle School
  • Alexandria Smith, Grandville High School
  • Halima Suleiman, Union High School
  • Isabelle Underhill, Godwin Heights High School
  • Julian Wilson, City High Middle School
  • Andrew Wu, City High Middle School

Grants Awarded March 2023

Youth Grant Committee Awards





  • Affinity Mentoring

    Amount Awarded: $2,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    Supporting the establishment of a Youth Steering Committee at Lee Middle School, including providing stipends to youth. This will support their efforts to teach students financial literacy and leadership skills.

  • African Collaborative Network

    Amount Awarded: $3,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    In support of the Internships & Advocacy program, which provides a community network to mentor, inspire, and motivate African youth.

  • Anishinaabe Circle

    Amount Awarded: $3,740

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    Culturally relevant mental health programming that builds strong relationships among tribal youth in the Greater Grand Rapids area.

  • Big Nik

    Amount Awarded: $4,500

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    Supporting the Do It BIG! project, which provides a safe environment for youth participating in Big Nik Basketball to support academic achievement, mental health, and community engagement.

  • Camp ARYV

    Amount Awarded: $5,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    Providing day camp experience to equip youth to engage in community organizing, activism, advocacy, and liberation work.

  • Chosen Academy

    Amount Awarded: $2,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    To provide student athletes with basketball skills training and mental health counseling.

  • Girls Growing II Women

    Amount Awarded: $1,870

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    The Power Within promotes positive relationships, education, empowerment, and the sharing of resources and stories to build self-esteem and confidence.

  • Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders

    Amount Awarded: $2,500

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    To build and establish a youth-led social justice awareness project and youth summit focused on raising awareness of the need for education equity and providing access to education resources for participants.

  • Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy

    Amount Awarded: $1,500

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    Ladies in Training programming creates opportunities for students to define, plan and maintain personal and academic goals, volunteer in the community, and curate a group project that promotes social change.

  • Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities

    Amount Awarded: $4,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    To maintain spaces of care and belonging that provide a network of support and real-world opportunities for teens to develop positive self-identities through art, music, mentorship, and college preparation.

  • HOAP

    Amount Awarded: $3,500

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    To support culturally competent strategies that promote mental health including self-acceptance, coping skills for anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, creative outlets for stress, and building strong interpersonal relationships and networks of support.

  • Kent School Services Network

    Amount Awarded: $2,520

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    Transportation support for students to reduce financial stress, improve attendance and foster academic success for Lee High School of choice students.

  • Mayfly Project

    Amount Awarded: $2,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    West Michigan Mayfly Project provides youth in foster care opportunities to explore the outdoors, learn about environmental conservation, and engage in fly fishing.

  • Mirror Me

    Amount Awarded: $3,500

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    Crowned curriculum focuses on identity development, social and emotional learning, community impact, as well as leadership and communication skills.

  • Planned Parenthood of Michigan

    Amount Awarded: $2,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    To train peer educators to facilitate educational experiences for youth on the intersection of mental health sexual health.

  • Self Esteem Project

    Amount Awarded: $2,500

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    To launch a community garden and outdoor classroom project with Stocking Elementary and its surrounding northwest Grand Rapids community.

  • Treetops Collective

    Amount Awarded: $2,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    Supporting the Concentric Teen Program, which connects immigrant and refugee teens with each other and mentors to build community as they make West Michigan home.

  • Upcycle Bikes

    Amount Awarded: $1,870

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2023

    Supporting bicycle refurbishment and distribution for community members needing transportation support through local nonprofit partners.

Youth Grant Committee FAQ

Thinking About a YGC Grant for Your Organization?

Here's everything you need to know about youth grants from Grand Rapids Community Foundation and how to apply for funds.

  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, government entities (including schools), or community groups willing to obtain a fiscal sponsor (with help from the Community Foundation) may apply for grants for programs that benefit youth in the greater Grand Rapids area. Proposals should address one of the youth needs identified in the fund guidelines, be creative and well-defined, and demonstrate equitable community impact. A project budget and plans for program evaluation should be included as well. Call the Grand Rapids Community Foundation at 616.454.1751 if you have questions.

  • Grant applications are available online each year. Past applicants will receive an email notification when future grant application timelines have been established. Please contact Chantal Pasag, YGC advisor, at if you wish to be notified when the application opens.

    The money available for grants comes from income generated by a $1.8 million Youth Fund, which is held in permanent endowment by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. The Youth Fund was established in 1994 with $1 million in matching funds from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

    Approximately $45,000 in grants is available annually.

  • In the last two decades, we have awarded more than one million dollars to local nonprofits. We particularly like to support programs that are unique, address racial, social and economic justice, and incorporate youth leadership.

  • Membership in YGC is open to any Grand Rapids area high school student interested in serving their community and willing to volunteer their time. Hundreds of area students have served on the Committee since YGC began, with many of them serving through all four years of high school. Membership applications are available each March and new members are selected in May. For more information, click here, or contact Chantal Pasag, YGC advisor, at

  • Youth across the state of Michigan are active serving their communities and addressing issues of concern. Learn more about Michigan's many Youth Advisory Committees by visiting the Michigan Community Foundation Youth Project's website.

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