Each year, the students have a say on how an endowment, which generated up to $63,000 at one time, gets spent, said Lynn Larkin, a program officer.Larkin is the liaison between the youth committees and the Community Foundation's Board of Trustees, which considers the students' recommendations on each proposal and ultimately approves the grants.
"The main thing is that the programs must impact youth," she
said of the grants which go toward programs to prevent teen pregnancy and violence or drug and alcohol abuse awareness."They tend to be very diligent and take their responsibilities very seriously," she
said of the students."It's amazing how quickly they pick up and understand what they are doing and the ramifications of it."The Student Advisory committees began in 1990, when the Kellogg Corporation
challenged the Community Foundation
by matching $1 for every $2 the foundation raised.The Southern Lakes group disbanded for five years before 2001, but was reorganized last year.With this money, the Southern Lakes group recently donated $5,000 to Linden High School's Start Spring Smart
, a program which promotes drunk driving awareness over spring break. Last Tuesday, the group also gave about $3,000 to Fenton Community Education's
co-ed volleyball program and $675 to help fund transportation for Fenton student mentors who volunteer at the Knopf Learning Center