YAC Accepting Applications

Now Accepting Applications for 2023-24 Youth Action Council; Deadline is May 8

Heartland Community Foundation now accepting applications for 2023-24 Youth Action Council; Deadline is May 8

HAYS, Kan.— The Heartland Community Foundation is excited to announce that applications are
now open for the 2024-25 Youth Action Council (YAC), a leadership and enrichment program for
high school students in Ellis, Rooks, and Trego counties. The YAC program aims to empower young
people to be involved in community decision-making, cultivate a spirit of philanthropy, and instill a
deeper sense of community pride.

Since December 2020, Heartland has granted over $70,000 to teen-led projects, and we want to
continue supporting their efforts and empowering them to do even more. YAC members will have
the opportunity to learn about generosity in a practical way by being generous and developing
community projects.

There were 30 YAC members on the 2023-24 council from all eight high schools in Ellis, Rooks, and
Trego counties. Each county collectively received $5,000 in seed money from the Dane G. Hansen
Foundation to put toward a county project. Those projects are ongoing and have provided exciting
and important learning opportunities for members. Members also had the opportunity to review
Heartland grant applications during the fall cycle. They will complete a community service project
next month to assemble 250 “birthday bags” to distribute to area food banks, providing all of the
fixings needed to celebrate a birthday. Topics discussed each month have included leadership,
fundraising, marketing, grant writing, and more. Members from 2023-24 council who have not
graduated will be part of the 2024-25 council. Those who are graduating become part of a growing
network of Youth Action Council alums.

“I loved getting the opportunity to help my community and meet new people,” said Lucina Parsons,
a senior at Palco High School. “The group is truly some of the best and most kind people I have met.
YAC made me come out of my shell and want to become a better person not only for myself, but
also my community.”

YAC meetings are held once a month during the school day for about an hour, rotating locations
among individual high schools within each county. Twice a year, in August and January, the full
council from throughout the Heartland area will come together to meet in a larger group in Hays.
The group will also be tasked with developing and volunteering for a service project.

In selecting new members, the Heartland Youth Action Council is looking for teens who:

● Care about their community and want to make a difference
● Are open-minded, critical thinkers who can discuss tough issues and creative solutions
● Demonstrate integrity and initiative in their actions and decisions
● Will be in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade during the 2024-25 academic school year.
● Reside in Ellis, Rooks, or Trego counties.

The expectations of Youth Action Council members are as follows:

● Attend a Youth Action Council orientation in Hays during early August.
● Attend a monthly meeting during the school day in your home county in September,
October, November, February, March and April by zoom or in person.
● Attend a Youth Action Council retreat in Hays in January.
● Actively participate in discussions and activities.
● Be an advocate for the Youth Action Council, the Heartland Community Foundation, and the
youth in our community.

The deadline for applications is May 8, 2024. Interested students can apply online and learn more
information at www.heartlandcommunityfoundation.org.

Apply online and learn more information here: www.heartlandcommunityfoundation.org.