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 (YGC). 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 present grant recommendations to the Community Foundation's Board of Trustees.

How to Apply for a Grant

The Youth Grant Committee Considers Requests Annually

  1. 1 Determine eligibility

    Any 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 is eligible to apply. Grant applications are accepted between November 15, 2021 - January 14, 2022. 

  2. 2 Submit your proposal

    In the fall of 2020, Youth Grant Committee members conducted a needs assessment of students in Kent County. Data from this survey, in conjunction with Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s values and North Star, informed a request for proposals that address equity and racial justice, youth access to mental health services and resources, or college and/or career preparation. 
    Proposals should address one of the identified youth needs, be creative and well-defined, and demonstrate broad community impact. An evaluation component and a plan for on-going funding should be included as well. 

Review Application Instructions Apply Online Now

So many reasons to be part of YGC

The 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. Students learn about the nonprofits in our community working to meet the needs of youth. They also conduct a grant process—ultimately awarding around $45,000 to programs that they deem right for support.

Just as important are the friendships that students make with kids from different schools and backgrounds. In addition to monthly meetings, students take part in team-building activities and service projects.

For more information on how to join, scroll down to the Youth Grant Committee FAQ section.

Meet the Committee Members

YGC 2021-2022

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

  • Rohit Agarwal, City High Middle School
  • Sparsh Aiyar, City High Middle School
  • Alani Arnold, Grandville High School
  • Caebre Baty, Grand Rapids Christian
  • Stella BooydeGraaff, Grand Rapids Christian
  • Jazpe Cano, Southwest Community Campus
  • Lendy Chavez, Catholic Central High School
  • Noah Chun, Grand Rapids Christian
  • Britney Garcia, City High Middle School
  • Camille Gerville-Reache, Forest Hills Northern High School
  • Emmalene Grace, Grand Rapids Christian
  • Claire Hart, Grand Rapids Christian
  • Helen Lee, Forest Hills Northern High School
  • John Lee, Forest Hills Northern High School
  • Juan Manuel Lopez Zamudio, Byron Center High School
  • Jeannette Muhawenimana, Ottawa High School
  • Temesgen Muruts, West Michigan Aviation Academy
  • Lily Nykamp, Grand Rapids Christian
  • Sydney Ozinga, South Christian High School
  • Samantha Rivera, Grandville High School
  • Natalie Rodriguez, City High Middle School
  • Alexandria Smith, Grandville High School
  • Madeline Uren, City High Middle School
  • Julian Wilson, City Middle High School

Awarded Grants

Youth Grant Committee Awards

Recipient

Amount

Date

Purpose

  • Affinity Mentoring

    Amount Awarded: $5,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    To implement lessons learned from the past year’s virtual mentoring into the 2022-2023 programming, including recruiting, training, and matching new mentors.

  • Arbor Circle

    Amount Awarded: $3,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    To support the Total Trek Quest program, which uses running and educational activities to encourage positive mental health and wellness, learning to set goals, and building strong relationships.

  • Artists Creating Together

    Amount Awarded: $2,500

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    To provide youth-led, creative, and accessible community arts activities at the Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Festival.

  • AYA Youth Collective

    Amount Awarded: $7,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    To center youth voices by co-creating opportunities that give youth with lived homeless experience the tools and training to effect system change, through the Kent County Youth Action Board.

  • Baxter Community Center

    Amount Awarded: $3,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    Summer program support for students to participate in field trips and activities focused on mental health, wellness, and academic skills.

  • Better Wiser Stronger

    Amount Awarded: $2,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    Support for the Blue Collar Program, which provides training for young men of color seeking skilled trade careers.

  • Blessed by Brookelyn

    Amount Awarded: $6,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    To provide retail and marketing job-training experiences for youth in the juvenile court system, including customer service and website design skills.

  • Comprehensive Therapy Center

    Amount Awarded: $1,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    To support programming that gives marginalized youth the support and resources they need to pursue a career in healthcare.

  • Dream Garden

    Amount Awarded: $3,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    Support for Dreams Take Work Summer Camp, a student-led community work and socio-emotional program.

  • Garfield Park Neighborhood Association

    Amount Awarded: $5,500

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    Community organizing, data analysis, and social media training experiences for local youth.

  • Girls Growing II Women

    Amount Awarded: $5,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    Support for L.I.F.E (Learning Important Fundamentals to Evolve) program, which focuses on providing training in life skills for youth.

  • Grand Valley State University

    Amount Awarded: $3,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    Rhoer Club Symposium’s SupporTEEN GR Youth event to activate youth participation in social justice activism, allyship, and community leadership.

  • Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities

    Amount Awarded: $6,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    Support for the Teen Leaders summer program focused on environmental and racial justice, including experiences in nature.

  • Health Net of West Michigan

    Amount Awarded: $5,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    Give youth the tools to improve their mental health through building a community garden, increasing food autonomy, and empowering FitKids to become change-makers in their communities.

  • HOAP

    Amount Awarded: $5,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    Support for The Power Within program, which promotes building self-esteem through positive relationships, education, and the sharing of resources and stories focused on taboo and stigmatized topics.

  • Larlen Communications

    Amount Awarded: $6,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    NexGen Media GR support for youth to explore broadcast communications career opportunities.

  • New City Neighbors

    Amount Awarded: $4,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    To equip youth to become change-makers by learning about racism in the U.S. food systems, to share out through community education and engagement opportunities.

  • Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind

    Amount Awarded: $4,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    To give blind and visually impaired children and youth a summer camp experience to learn leadership techniques and life skills.

  • Planned Parenthood of Michigan

    Amount Awarded: $5,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    Supporting IN•clued: Inclusive Healthcare, Empowered Youth programming, which addresses sexual health disparities through inclusive healthcare and education.

  • Positive Impact for Life

    Amount Awarded: $6,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    Mentoring and tutoring program focused on academic and life enhancement skills.

  • Urban Core Collective

    Amount Awarded: $5,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    Supporting Camp ARYV (Always Raise Youth Voices), a day camp experience to equip youth to engage in community organizing, activism, advocacy, and liberation work.

  • Vista Charter Academy

    Amount Awarded: $1,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    Program support for students to engage in leadership opportunities.

  • West Michigan Environmental Action Council Education Foundation

    Amount Awarded: $7,000

    Date Awarded: Mar. 2022

    Freedom School + MLK Peace Dream Garden support to build capacity, engage the community and increase the quality of instruction and activities for program participants.

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.

    Download a pdf of the fund guidelines.

  • 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 CPasag@GRFoundation.org 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 1991 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 CPasag@GRFoundation.org.

    Membership applications for 2022 - 2023 are currently closed.

  • 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.