Imagine a world where all youth are knowledgeable about philanthropy; a world where students are empowered to see their value to society. Community Foundation YACers (Youth Advisory Committee members) get this exposure, but what about others?

Learning to Give, a national nonprofit organization offers a school-based curriculum for K-12 students on philanthropy. Given the unique circumstances of the Flint Water Crisis, Learning to Give wanted to do more. The idea was to develop a curriculum that would facilitate meaningful classroom discussions on the Flint water crisis. A $10,000 grant advised by the Countywide YAC supported the work.

Eleven Flint teachers met at the Community Foundation to develop a curriculum that would teach lessons on water quality, disaster relief, advocacy skills, and compassion. Today, educators nationwide can apply for mini-grants through Learning to Give to access the "Flint Lessons" at The resource provides lesson plans, project ideas, and information about what happened in Flint.

"The Countywide YAC felt that this grant was a worthwhile project because it is working with and teaching kids about the water crisis," said Tim Johnson II, committee member and CFGF student trustee. "As residents of Genesee County, we know firsthand what the crisis is and how it impacts us. We hope others learn that this is something that can happen in any community no matter who you are or where you live. And that youth can speak up and use their voice to advocate for causes that matter to them the most."

YACers are local youth aged 13-19 who serve on advisory committees, review grant proposals, and advise grants for youth-related programs and services. CFGF has four YAC Committees-Clio, Grand Blanc, South Lakes, and Countywide.

Membership on the Youth Advisory Committees is open to any Genesee County-area student willing to volunteer. For more information, contact Chakara Wheeler, Program Officer, at or 810-767-8270.