High school halls throughout the area are bustling with students once again. We hope this year brings a bit of normalcy for students, where the most exciting things are the dates for winter break and the unveiling of this year’s prom theme. Youth Advisory Council (YAC) members are back at school and looking for new members to join their teams. We recently spoke to our Team Leaders at their monthly meeting about why YAC is a worthwhile community initiative, and here is what some of these future community leaders had to say: “Youth Advisory Council allows teenagers a different way to support and serve our community; something other than just doing volunteer hours. Through the community grant process, we get to make a difference.” - Bret “The best part of YAC is that you get to socialize with other teens your own age and meet people from outside your school. It’s great to come together to achieve the same goal.” – Caleb “I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting into with YAC; what kind of time commitment I would have to make, as my schedule is really busy. But once I got into it and started to learn about the community and how I could help—it made me want to put in the time and effort.” - Bella YAC members have the opportunity to serve their communities through volunteering and the grants process, and membership also offers a community-focused, non-competitive activity to add to college applications. It’s taken some time to readjust to a normal school day when it was far from normal for so long. And YAC has lost a lot of members to graduation (which is excellent) and attrition (not so excellent). They may be a smaller group to start 2022, but they are mighty! We currently have 65 members in 12 schools throughout the area. These student leaders are full of positive energy and have hit the ground running this school year. Recruitment flyers are going out as fast as we can print them, and we look forward to a packed house for parent/student orientation. If you know a high schooler looking for a school-supported activity that will give their empathy, problem-solving, and cooperation muscles a great workout every month, YAC might be for them. Learn more about this THCF community initiative online , or reach out to Diana Castillo , Director of Grantmaking and Donor Services.