A project of the Council of Michigan Foundations
As a result of Michigan Community Foundations’ Youth Project (MCFYP), Michigan leaders began to see youth as an empowering, energizing force for good in their communities. Youth who participated in Youth Advisory Committees (YACs) offered a fresh perspective on their community’s needs, and insight into strategic and innovative methods for achieving goals. Thus, a group of YAC participants — with the assistance of the national nonprofit Youth on Boards — prepared a case for permitting youth to officially serve on a nonprofit board with a vote. The data from MCFYP showing the accomplishments of YACs was integral in building their case, which was presented to the Michigan Legislature and Governor John Engler.
In 1998, the Michigan Youth on Boards Act was passed, giving young people ages 16–17 the opportunity to serve as voting members on nonprofit boards. This act has served as an inspiration and model for other states that have passed similar acts allowing youth to participate on boards.