YOUTH Council Grants

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

You might think that it would be much easier to distribute funds than to raise them, but if you asked Lenawee Community Foundation volunteers, they would tell you it is hard work.  It is not an easy job to ensure that you are awarding donated dollars to achieve the greatest good. 

The important work of determining grant recommendations was recently conducted by an incredibly dedicated group of young volunteers – Lenawee YOUTH Council. 

Twenty-six years ago, the Lenawee Community Foundation received a $1 million grant from the Kellogg Foundation to engage youth in community philanthropy.  Through our Lenawee YOUTH Council, local teens conduct a grant-making process annually.  To date, they have awarded over $900,000 in grants to local youth programs and the million-dollar fund has grown to more than $1.3 million.  Additionally, the teens have volunteered, sponsored college visits, explored careers, offered summer leadership camps and served on nonprofit boards, including the Lenawee Community Foundation board.  That’s the power of endowment – investing in our youth and investing in endowed funds for the future of our community!

Their grant-making process is rigorous and youth-led.  They ask for youth involvement in the programs they fund, request information on how youth assets will be built, and make recommendations to the Lenawee Community Foundation Board of Directors for the programs that will help local youth the most.

This year awards were made to: Adrian Center for the Arts, Adrian Community Preschool, Adrian District Library, Adrian Symphony Orchestra, Associated Charities of Lenawee County, Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee & Hillsdale Counties, Clinton Township Library, Holy Family Catholic Youth, Hospice of Lenawee, Lenawee Imagination Library, Stair District Library, and Tecumseh High School Drama Club.

Thank you to all who made this work possible.  Thank you to the volunteers who spent countless hours reviewing grants to ensure that all donated funds are used in the best way possible, creating the greatest impact.


Paula Trentman serves as Vice President & Director of Grants and Programs of the Lenawee Community Foundation.  Your Community Foundation assists individuals, corporations, and organizations in fulfilling their charitable goals for our community.  For information about how your business, any group, your family, or you can volunteer to build a better community, call 517.263.4696 or contact  We would be delighted to be of service as you invest time, talent, and treasure now and forever.