2018 Youth Grantmakers Summer Leadership Conference

Updated 10/18/18 to correct email address Correct one is YPCinLaCo@gmail.com

Article and photos submitted by the Students of the 2018 Youth Grantmakers Summer Leadership Conference

A group of area high school youth and four chaperones from Lancaster and Chester counties were selected to attend the 2018 Youth Grantmakers Summer Leadership Conference at Central Michigan University over a long weekend in June.



Horizon Group 1[1]

Photo Supplied-Horizon Education Grant Youth Review Committee Members: Tasia Dye, Lisa Bridges, Owen Broadway, Jessica Dutton, A’Margieona Catoe, Naomi Israel, Devan Rohlfing.


YPC Group 2[1]

Photo Supplied -Young People in Charge Members: Himanshu Patel, Garren Adamson, Ashleigh Hoke, Jasmine Blair, Heather Mueller, Crystal Crockett, and Janki Patel.


Downtime at Conference[1]

Photo Supplied- Downtime at the Conference: Lisa Bridges, Naomi Israel, Jasmine Blair, Crystal Crockett, A’Margieona Catoe, Owen Broadway, Ashleigh Hoke, Janki Patel, Himanshu Patel, Jessica Dutton, Heather Mueller, Tasia Dye, Garren Adamson.

The theme of the 26th annual Youth Grantmakers Summer Leadership Conference was “Ignite: Fuel Action, Spark Change.” It was an engaging weekend of empowering lessons, best practices, strategies to deepen grantmaking skills, and connecting with more than 300 youth grantmakers from Michigan and other areas in the U.S.

The conference was planned and facilitated by the Michigan Community Foundations’ Youth Project (MCFYP) Committee. The youth attended sessions on Youth Philanthropy 101, team building and a variety of breakout sessions to enhance leadership skills.  Each participant was able to choose a variety of topics throughout the conference to meet in a small group setting to have diverse discussions on current issues.


YPC Picture 3[1]

Photo Supplied: Himanshu Patel and Garren Adamson.

Throughout the conference, cultivating respectful dialogue during discussions and team building, especially when working with new members, were stressed as important elements of effective youth grant-maker groups.

Youth philanthropy is defined as the thoughtful, intentional, and ongoing giving of an individual’s time, talent, and treasure for the sake of another or for the common good of the community. Youth philanthropy is seen as an effective means in which youth develop knowledge of, and participate in, philanthropic projects such as volunteering, grant writing, and community service.



The Horizon Education Grants Youth Review Committee (HYRC) of the J. Marion Sims Foundation is a group of students from Lancaster County, Lewisville, and Great Falls high schools, as well as students from USC Lancaster, who review, discuss, and make award decisions on grant applications written by area educators. The HYRC meets one to two times per grant cycle, with an additional meeting for training and award receptions.  Each meeting provides opportunities for team building, input on the grant proposals, and follow up on any business for the committee. The Horizon Education Grant Program promotes collaboration between educators, families, and students in shared learning projects and innovative activities which both expand student learning and support a healthy community.


YPC[1]Young People in Charge (YPC) was started in 2001 by The Children’s Council with a grant from the J. Marion Sims Foundation. YPC is an entirely youth-run grantmaking group comprised of high school youth from Lancaster County. Each school year, YPC has approximately $4,000 to award to youth organizations to implement youth-initiated projects. The maximum awarded for each grant is $500 with the average award being $250.  The YPC youth participants review and award the grant, volunteer with the youth that submitted the grant to implement the project and follow up on the completion of the project. YPC meets twice a month at the University of South Carolina Lancaster.  They also participate in community service projects such as Boo Fun Fest, Promise Neighborhood Clean-up Days, and the Summer Reading Kick-off. The overriding theme of YPC is that youth can make a difference in their community.




The leaders of both groups believe the story and impact of the conference is best told from the point of view of some of the students that attended the conference.  Here, in their own words, are what youth philanthropy means to youth and how the conference impacted the local participants.

 How would you define youth philanthropy to your peers?-Garren Adamson   12th Grade Andrew Jackson High School- YPC Member

 “Philanthropy to me is the process of serving and giving to your fellow human beings. So, youth philanthropy is an expansion on philanthropy to include a group often left out and ignored- the youth.”

What did you learn at the conference?-Crystal Crockett 12th Grade Lancaster High School- YPC Member

“There were several different things that I gained more knowledge about at the Michigan Youth Philanthropy Conference. One important lesson I learned was that it is very important to be diverse but unified. Within the group, diversity can be an essential key. In collaboration with diversity, we must have respect for each other’s different views and perspectives on issues. We must be open-minded and also respectful of each other’s points of view and work toward compromise to reach a common goal.”

What did you learn at the conference?- Owen Broadway 12th Grade Andrew Jackson High School- HYRC Member

“As a self-proclaimed leader, I assumed that I already had many characteristics of a leader. However, what was most beneficial to me was the reinforcement of a team mentality. I often just like to keep things very structured. When in meetings, I like to maintain a very orderly schedule. Therefore, I have often never allowed for a team-building moment. What I ultimately learned is that it truly does take a team, one who works well together, to adequately complete a task to the best of one’s ability.”

Biggest surprise of the conference?- Tasia Dye 12th Grade Great Falls- HYRC Member

“One of the biggest surprises of the conference for me was the different sessions that we signed up for. Certain topics do not get brought up a lot or they get brushed under the rug by many educators. Particular subjects like mental illnesses, sexuality, and politics were discussed on a different level for students. I was really shocked that many MCFYP members were very interested in the sessions and tried to make a comfortable environment for everyone. Another surprise was meeting so many wonderful people and actually getting a feeling how college is going to be. Everyone from Michigan was exceptionally polite and welcoming, that made the trip even more remarkable. Lastly, the fact that Horizon and YPC were the only two out-of-state committees was really unexpected, yet, pleasing. I enjoyed explaining how a soda is not pop and a buggy is the same thing as a shopping cart.


Students who are interested in becoming a member of the Horizon Education Grants Youth Review Committee can find more information at https://www.jmsims.org/horizon-education-grant or by contacting Holly Furr at horizon@jmsims.org (803) 286-8772.

Young People in Charge is accepting applications from Lancaster County youth in 9-11th grades at the beginning of each school year.  Applications are available at YPCinLaCo@gmail.com or 803-283-4995.

Check out the activities of Young People in Charge at the Instagram page: YPCinLaCo.

To request a Young People in Charge grant application or the Grant Writing Technical Assistance training, please email request to YPCinLaCo@gmail.com. (YPC recommends that all applicants participate in the YPC Grant Writing Technical Assistance training prior to grant submission.)

Categories: Indian Land, Kershaw, Lancaster

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