Youth Advisory Committee (YAC)

Youth Advisory Committee Formed at The Luzerne Foundation Student Run Group to Research and Award Grants

What happens when you put a group of twenty-eight 9th-12thgraders from seven different schools together in a room? Noise? Lots of clicking and texting? A bit of trepidation, perhaps some boredom? Probably all of the above. But when those students are part of YAC, you will also see excitement, determination, curiosity, and collaboration. These students are there for a purpose.

YAC members are learning the fundamentals of philanthropy. Many have probably participated in fundraisers – a bake sale, dance marathon, car wash, etc. Thus, it may not be out of their comfort zone to solicit potential donors to raise approximately $15,000 to give away.  It is the next step that provides a challenge.

How do you give that money away? Throughout the year-long program, “YACsters” survey community needs, solicit grant applications and review them. Site visits occur, and reports are presented to the entire group so that votes may be taken on who should receive the grants. The students quickly understand that the needs are many, and there is not always enough to go around.

Twenty nonprofits were invited to present at a YAC nonprofit forum where members asked direct questions. The group narrowed the field to 12 nonprofits, site visits occurred then discussions ensued regarding each request. Finally, the field was narrowed to three and a final vote was taken.  The grant recipients listed below were presented with checks at the YAC annual dinner.

The process is eye-opening for many of the students, but the satisfaction felt from knowing their efforts have made a difference in the community makes it all worthwhile.

This year YAC supported:

The Wright Center for Community Health: $5,000 – Stratus Video Language App
The Family Service Association of NEPA: $5,000 – Help Line/211 Service
Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation: $5,000 – for the purchase of a drone to assist with watershed mapping

Since the 2013/14 school year, YAC has supported 27 organizations with grants totaling $111,775.

Pictures from the 2019/2020 Kickoff Dinner

First YAC Meeting of the 2019/2020 Year

Visit Our 2019/2020 Sponsor:

YAC Grantmaking Since Inception

Total Nonprofits Supported: 27
Total Grants and In-Kind Gifts: $111,775


$5,000 The Wright Center for Community Health – Stratus Video Language App
$5,000 The Family Service Association of NEPA ~ Help Line/211 Service
$5,000 Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation — for the purchase of a drone to assist with watershed mapping


$5,500 F.M. Kirby Center – Sensory Friendly Theater
$5,500 PA Environment Council – Community Illegal Dumpsite Cleanup Program
$5,000 Mom-n-Pa Dental – Dental Program June 7 & 8 at Mohegan Sun Arena


$5,000 Family Service Association of NEPA
$5,000 Camp Orchard Hill
$5,000 The Hope Center of Wyoming Valley
$1,000 Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center


$5,000 Helping Hands Society, Bringing the Outside In
$5,000 McGlynn Center, Weekend Program
$5,000 Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, The Community Based Cancer Screening Navigation Program
$1,000 St. Joseph’s Center, medical equipment for Luzerne County Intermediate Care
special gift of
games/toys worth
CASA of Luzerne County, Resource Library


$5,000 Hazleton Integration Project, After School Scholarship Program
$5,000 Wyoming Valley Children’s Association, SPOT On Preschool Camp
$3,500 YMCA of Wilkes-Barre, Tasty Thursday Program
$2,500 Women’s Resource Center, Safe Housing Program


$5,000 Children’s Service Center, Music Intervention
$5,000 Ruth’s Place, Staff Expansion
$3,000 Cori’s Place, Mind & Body
$3,000 The United Way of Wyoming Valley, Success by 6


$5,000 CASA of Luzerne County, CASA Training Classes
$5,000 Volunteers in Medicine, A Healthy Smile for a Healthy Start
$5,000 Wyoming Valley Children’s Association, Multi-Sensory Room
$1,000 Marlee’s Mission, Scholarships