Keweenaw Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council Announces Grants to Benefit Local Youth

$15,100 Awarded to Seven Local Organizations

May 12, 2016

Hancock, Michigan—The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) of the Keweenaw Community Foundation (KCF) announced that $15,100 has been awarded from the Kellogg Youth Endowment Fund to seven local organizations. These grants will support projects that benefit youth in grades 6-12 in Houghton and Keweenaw Counties.

The grant recipients are:

  • Finlandia University for “The Arts: An Exciting Career or Stress-Reduction Hobby?” program to show students different life paths in the arts.
  • Bay Cliff Health Camp to provide fun and therapeutic equipment for the new recreation center and help fund a new climbing wall.
  • Keweenaw Science & Engineering Festival to help host the second annual free high-impact STEM festival and to attract and educate area youth and the community.
  • Houghton Skatepark Project to help create a 3,200 sq. ft., professionally-built, concrete outdoor skatepark in Houghton.
  • Little Brothers—Friends of the Elderly to fund the “Sixth Graders and Seniors Together for Good” intergenerational program designed to forge meaningful relationships between youth and the elderly.
  • Calumet Theatre Co. to provide funding for youth and family movies for July and August, 2016 in Calumet.
  • City of Hancock – Laurn Grove Park to light the Laurn Grove Ice Rink with energy efficient, bright, and safe LED lighting.

Projects will take place before May 31st, 2017.

The projects chosen each addressed areas of need highlighted by the Youth Needs Survey. Conducted in Fall 2014, the survey collected responses from students in grades 7-12 at local area schools. It found that depression, drug abuse, and harassment represented the greatest challenges to local youth. The survey also asked teens which youth programs would be beneficial to youth in the community. The majority of teens were interested in after-school activities, skill building classes, career development, leadership building, and health programs. The full survey results are posted on the KCF website:

“Our Youth Advisory Council was pleased to have so many applications this spring!” commented YAC co-president, Lindsay Sandell, a Houghton High School junior. “These unique programs have the opportunity to impact many students as they include a variety of interests and ages.”

“It is very rewarding to see that decisions that a group of young people make can impact our peers in such a powerful way,” stated Ben Lilleskov, Houghton High School junior and YAC co-president, “and I feel like this is a very unique way that I can impact my community and the lives of many youth in our area.”

KCF’s YAC was developed and supported by the Michigan Community Foundations’ Youth Project to spread youth philanthropy in the state, an initiative that was launched by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the community foundation members of Council of Michigan Foundations. Today, there are over 1,500 young people serving on 86 youth grantmaking committees statewide. Endowment fund assets exceed $62 million and collectively give $1.5 million in grants per year. KCF’s YAC alone has granted nearly $150,000 in funds since its inception.

For more information on giving or grant opportunities, please visit the KCF website ( or email The next funding round is planned for Fall 2016.

Contact: Kyle Krym or Jennifer Julien or