Photos: Local kids make strides with youth led programs

The Ionia Youth Advisory Council held their youth led awards luncheon at the Ionia Intermediate School District on Friday, May 16, 2014. The Ionia County YAC is a student lead youth advisory council in Ionia County where 9th-12th grade students from Ionia, Portland, Lakewood, Belding, Saranac, and Lowell High Schools are included.
The Ionia County YAC is represented by high school students from Ionia, Belding, Portland, Lakewood, Saranac, and Lowell High Schools. These motivated students meet on a once-per-month basis to plan, develop, and implement service-learning projects. Students also go through professional development trainings that help them further develop their own projects. Students go though leadership, goal-setting, public speaking, team-work, and cultural trainings that help them learn how to be effective at advocating for a positive change in their community.
The most impressive quality about this group of students and the Ionia County YAC is that this program is entirely youth lead! Students create the agenda for each meeting, lead each meeting, and take each step from developing to executing their project. These students also host fundraisers for their projects. The YAC has also elected to meet year-round. Students meet throughout the summer to further develop their projects, attend community events, and to plan for the following school year. For more information visit

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