In April 1998, the Board of Directors of Berks County Community Foundation approved the creation of a Youth Advisory Committee in order to give interested Berks County youth a hands-on experience in grantmaking decisions. Berks County Community Foundation strongly believes that young people should be able to participate in community decisions that affect them and their peers.

The Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) was made up of approximately 30 high school students from different communities in Berks County. The main purpose of YAC was to involve young people in addressing the issues facing their peers in Berks County. Members of YAC had the annual responsibility of making decisions about the distribution of $15,000 in grants from Berks County Community Foundation’s Youth and Philanthropy Fund to programs and projects that serve Berks County teens.

From 1998 to 2019, YAC distributed 107 grants totaling $328,258.

In 2019, YAC merged with another program to become the Youth Advisory Board, a program of Berks County Community Foundation and the Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading.

Grants are now distributed from the Youth and Philanthropy Fund of Berks County Community Foundation through the Youth Advisory Board, which is run by VOiCEup Berks.

The new Youth Advisory Board program combines the grant-awarding component of YAC with the service-learning component of the Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading. The Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading is an affiliate of a national program. VOiCEup Berks runs the local affiliate.

The application process for students to join the 2019-2020 Youth Advisory Board is closed. Applications will open in May 2020 for the 2020-2021 school year. For further information, contact Rachel Kuhn. A co-founder of VOiCEup Berks, Rachel is director of the Youth Advisory Board.

Grants awarded by YAC 1998-2019:
(Organization: Dollar amount: Program)

Abilities in Motion: 4,250.00: Teens Taking Flight
Abilities in Motion: 3,000.00: STARS (Students Transitioning to Achieve Realistic Success)
Abilities in Motion: 500.00: Empowering Me
Alvernia College: 2,000.00: South Reading Youth Initiative
Barrio Alegria: 3,500: The OJOS: Eye of the Beholder
BCTV: 2,500.00: “Losers Win!”
BCTV: 3,000.00: Film Camp
Bechtelsville Comunity Park: 3,000.00: The Skate Park
Berks Area Youth Recreation: 1,000.00: My Pop And Me
Berks Arts Council: 2,500.00: Arts tool kit
Berks Community Television (BCTV): 2,000.00: Film Camp 2004
Berks Connections/Pretrial Services: 3,000.00: Mother’s Voice Program
Berks Counseling Center: 3,500.00: Daily Living program
Berks County Intermediate Unit 14: 5,000.00: Youth Leadership Training – Berks County Transit
Berks County Prison Society, Inc.: 1,000.00: The Mother’s Voice Project
Berks County Prison Society, Inc.: 2,500.00: FUNdamentals
Berks County Youth Center: 2,000.00: Conflict Resolution
Berks County Conservancy: 5,750.00: Bug Community Gardening Program – “Junior Bugs”
Berks County Conservancy: 11,000.00: Excel in Agriculture – A Community Gardening Pro
Berks Visiting Nurse Association: 2,000.00: Immunization Program
Berks Women in Crisis: 8,000.00: CAMPpeaceworks Theater Project
Best Buddies Pennsylvania: 4,000.00: Best Buddies Middle School Friendship program
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Berks County: 1,000.00: TEEN Program
BIG Vision Foundation: 1,000.00: Day of fun and physical activity for youth who are disadvantaged or disabled
Brandywine Heights Community Task Force: 3,000.00: After school program
Brandywine Heights Intermediate School: 550.00: Become A Brandywine Heights Bucket Filler
Building a Better Boyertown: 1,000.00: Natural Talent and Majesty at Studio B
Building a Better Boyertown: 1,500.00: Studio B – A Family Affair
Building a Better Boyertown: 2,000.00: FreeB at the B
Building a Better Boyertown: 2,000.00: Free to Be Me 2.0 at Studio B
Building a Better Boyertown: 2,200.00: Happy to Be Me 3.0 at Studio B
Camp Fire USA – Adahi Council: 3,000.00 Teen Suicide:  Silence Is Not Golden
Caron Treatment Centers: 8,000.00: Peer Leadership Summit
Center City Youth Organization: 1,000.00: C.C.Y.O.
Children’s Home of Reading: 6,000.00: Summer Therapeutic Recreation Program
Christ Lutheran Church (Glenside): 5,240.00: Glenside Peer Bank
Clay on Main: 600.00: John Paul II Students at Clay on Main
Coalition of Community Foundations for Youth: 100.00: General Support
Coalition of Community Foundations for Youth: 100.00: General Support
Coalition of Community Foundations for Youth: 100.00: General Support
Coalition of Community Foundations for Youth: 100.00: General Support
CARE: 3,500.00: Y.E.S. Program
Community Alliance and Reinvestment Endeavir: 1,190.00: Youth Ending Substance Abuse – 2003
Community Prevention Partnership of Berks: 2,500.00: Youth Behind the Camera
Community Prevention Partnership of Berks: 5,000.00: Reading Youth Leadership Initiative
Council on Chemical Abuse: 1,000.00: Healthy School – Healthy Youth Mural Project
Cumru Township Police Department: 3,167.00: AED
Driven Ministries, Inc.: 6,750.00: Momentum
Easter Seals Eastern Pennsylvania: 3,750.00: Funding for Camp Lily
First Tee of Lehigh Valley at Reading/Berks: 2,000.00: First Tee Affiliate Program at Reading/Berks
First Tee of Lehigh Valley and Berks: 2,500.00: First Tee Lehigh Valley Program at Reading/Berks
Embrace Your Dreams: 2,000.00: First Tee Lehigh Valley at Berks program
Girls on the Run of Berks County: 3,000.00: Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run of Berks County: 2,100.00: Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run of Berks County: 2,065.00: Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run of Berks County

GoggleWorks Center for the Arts: 8,000.00: ArtsBridge: Enhancing Well-Being Through Creativity
Goodwill Keystone Area: 5,000.00: GoodGuides Youth Mentoring Program
Greater Berks Food Bank:  3,000.00: Produce for Kids
Growing Center, Inc.: 2,000.00: Horticultural Therapy for Alternative Ed Student
Growing Center, Inc.: 3,500.00: Horticultural Therapy
Growing Center, Inc.: 1,000.00: Horticultural Therapy Programs
Growing Center, Inc.: 2,450.00: Horticultural therapy
Herd By A Horse: 5,500.00: Connecting Youth and Families Through Equine Therapy

Herd by a Horse

Hispanic Center of Reading and Berks: 2,000.00: Proyecto Raices
I-Lead Inc.: 1,500: Salsa, Song and Food Festival
J.K. Boyer Community Library: 2,000.00: How to Parent a Preschooler
Junior Achievement of Berks County: 7,000.00: Project Challenge
Junior Achievement of Berks County, Inc.: 2,000.00: Program costs for 2 of the 5 programs to be piloted
Junior Achievement of Greater Reading: 2,000.00: Our Families
Kutztown Community Partnership/Kutztown: 1,500.00: Speakers to address substance abuse issues
Lauer’s Park School: 2,960.00: Lunch Crunch
Life-Line Center: 1,562.00: Life-Line Center Summer Program
Life-Line Center: 1,500.00: Get Up N Go
Mary’s Shelter: 4,000.00: Healthy Starts
Mary’s Shelter: 3,500.00: Education & Employment Initiative
Mifflin Community Library: 4,000.00: Mindfulness for Youth program
Muhlenberg Township Police Department: 3,274.00: AED
Multicultural And Literacy Institute: 5,000.00: LGBT App – Teen Corner Youth Mentoring & Empower
Olivet Boys and Girls Club of Reading: 2,500.00: PAL Unit 2005 Mural Project
Olivet Boys and Girls Club of Reading: 5,000.00: Center for the Arts for LGBT
Olivet Boys and Girls Club of Reading: 5,500.00: Berks PRIDE Mentoring Program
Opportunity House: 5,645.00: Stress Less at Second Street
Planned Parenthood Of Northeast: 3,000.00: The SPECTRUM
Police Athletic League of Greater Reading: 3,000.00: Mural Project
Prospectus Berco: 1,500.00: Healthy Living Program
Puerto Rican Latin Assn.: 3,590.00: Summer Youth Tech Institute
Reading Berks Emergency Shelter: 4,000.00: Second Street Learning Center Summer Experience
Reading Community Players: 6,000.00: Summer production of FAME
Reading Community Players: 605.00: Stressless with Reading Community Players
Reading Musical Foundation: 2,500.00: Koncert for Kids
Reading Musical Foundation: 1,000.00: YAC Summer Music Camp Leadership Program
Reading Musical Foundation: 1,000.00: YAC Summer Music Camp Leadership Program
Reading Musical Foundation: 1,000.00: YAC Summer Music Camp Leadership Program
Reading Musical Foundation: 3,000.00 Total Immersion Summer Music Camp Program
Reading Musical Foundation: 1,000.00: RMF Music Programs at Olivet Boys & Girls Club
Reading Recreation Commission: 2,000.00: Girls Leadership Program

YAC grants

Reading Recreation Commission’s Girls Leadership Program

Reading Specialists Educational Association: 2,000.00: Transitioning Youth Apprenticeship Program
Reading Specialists Educational Association: 5,000.00: Transitioning Youth Apprenticeship Program
RIZE: 5,000: RIZE Above Bars
Rudden Family Foundation: 1,000.00: Program that gives disadvantaged students desks and computers
Set Point Tennis: 3,000.00: Community Life Skills Grant
Set Point Tennis: 1,000.00: Lifeskill Tennis Crime/Substance Abuse Clinic
South Mountain YMCA: 2,000.00: Reading-Berks Emergency Shelter Family Retreat
Spring Township Library: 500.00: Stay Healthy With Miss Maggie
Spring Township Library: 135.00 Choose: Kind at the Spring Township Library
Taijiquan Club: 5,750.00: Pacem In Vita
Togliatti Community Foundation: 1,875.00: Russian Youth Exchange
Twin Valley Middle School: 2,000.00: Raider Pride Unity Day
VOiCEup Berks: 5,000: Summer of Service
West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation: 2,150.00: Mural project
Wyomissing Public Library: 1,750.00: Program to reduce stress
YMCA of Reading & Berks County: 5,000.00: Friends Always
YMCA of Reading & Berks County: 1,500.00: YMCA – Summer Camp Cooking Club
Youth Fund of Berks County Community Foundation: 3,000.00: To support the BCCF youth trip to Russia
Zion Gates Christian Ministry: 3,000.00: Can Anything Good Initiative (CAGI)
Zion’s United Church of Christ: 2,500.00: The Soul-ed Out Student Cafe
————
328,258.00       TOTAL