Youth Genesee Serves

Powered by:


Now Accepting Applications for Youth Genesee Serves Grants!

We all want to make our communities - and our planet - greener, healthier, fairer and stronger. Youth Genesee Serves (YGS) believes that youth have a unique ability to change the world, thanks to their passion, creativity and willingness to look at old problems in new ways.


Our goal is to engage youth (ages 5-18) in youth-led, high-quality service projects that address an authentic community need AND provide youth with skills they need to succeed in work, school, and life. We are offering organizations/entities that provide opportunities for youth to learn and lead, to partner with us on this initiative. Schools and organizations are invited to empower young people to identify issues within their own community that can be addressed through creative solutions, then apply for funding for the youth to carry out their vision. Grants are available up to $1,500, depending on the number of youth and volunteers who will be participating in each project.  


For 2019-2020, projects must take place between August 1, 2019 and May 1, 2020 with special consideration for projects that take place on or around a national day of service:

  • 9/11 Day of Service (September 11, 2019)
  • MLK Day of Service (January 20, 2020)
  • Global Youth Service Day (April 17-19, 2020)



Any school or organization in Genesee County is eligible to apply, as long as they can engage young people in service (not service for or to youth, but service led and performed by the youth). The amount of funding each organization may apply for is determined by the number of volunteers (youth volunteers and others) who will be engaged throughout the project:

  • $300      Less than 50 Volunteers
  • $750      50-75 Volunteers
  • $1,000   75+ Volunteers 
  • $1,500   100+ Volunteers

Projects are encouraged to seek donations (cash or in-kind) or use existing resources to support the projects.

Schools or organizations that engage middle or high school youth (ages 13-18) are particularly encouraged to apply, and organizations that work with Flint youth will receive particular consideration.


Each project is expected to:

  • Work with a core group of youth (e.g. a club or a class) to lead a service project around an issue area that is important to the youth; youth are expected to be leaders in identifying, planning and implementing the project (not just used as volunteers)
  • Engage other volunteers (peers, teachers, parents, community members) in the project
  • Work with partners in the community to ensure the project meets a community need 
  • Inform United Way as to the details of the project so that we may come to observe, take photos, and help tell the story of the service project
  • Use reflection throughout the project to help youth think about their role in community and their ability to positively impact their surroundings
  • Implement a project between August 1, 2019 and May 1, 2020; special consideration will be given to projects that take place on or around a national day of service:
  • Prior to applying, agencies are encouraged to attend Youth Genesee Serves information session. 
  • Complete a project report after the project has wrapped-up. You can find the reporting form here.

Application Process and Technical Assistance

The application for 2019-2020 can be found here. Please submit applications to Diane Woodruff at or you can call her with questions 810-762-5821. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, but agencies are definitely encouraged to apply as soon as possible. 

We strongly encourage agencies and individuals that are interested in applying to set up a technical assistance conversation with Diane to go over grant parameters and funding priorities.


2018-2019 Round 2 Grant Recipients

21 groups of youth received a grant to implement their own projects to make an impact in our community on or around Global Youth Service Day 2019. Click here to see the impact report from GYSD 2019. Congratulations to the youth-led groups at the following organizations:

Lake Fenton Westshore Elementary
Prince of Peace
Southwestern Classical Academy LLC Classes
Grand Blanc High School Leadership Class
Greater Galilee
Holmes STEM Academy
Genesee STEM Academy
Southwestern Classical Academy
Grand Blanc Myers Elementary
Grand Blanc Indian Hills Elementary
Durant Turri Mott Elementary
Eisenhower Elementary
Brownell STEM Academy
Freeman Elementary
Doyle Ryder Elementary
Pierce Elementary
Neithercut Elementary
International Academy
Grand Blanc Academy
Atherton Jr/Sr High School (2 projects)
Whaley Children’s Center

Look what we accomplished for Global Youth Service Day in 2019! Michigan was #1! Pat yourselves on the back.

2018-2019 Round 1 Grant Recipients

10 groups of youth received a grant to implement their own projects to make an impact in our community on or around MLK Day 2019.  Congratulations to the youth-led groups at the following organizations:

  • Atherton Middle School
  • Bentley AP Environmental Science Class
  • Bentley Barhitte Student Council
  • Bentley HS Food/Clothes Pantry Group
  • Eisenhower Elementary
  • Grand Blanc High School Leadership Class
  • Hamady Middle/High School
  • Hamady Middle/Westwood Heights Schools
  • Myers Elementary
  • Lake Fenton Middle School 


2017-2018 Grant Recipients

Thirteen groups of youth received a grant to implement their own projects to make an impact in our community.  Congratulations to the youth-led groups at the following organizations:

  • Bendle Middle School
  • Big Brothers big Sisters of Flint
  • Boys & Girls club of Greater Flint
  • Crim Fitness Foundation Student Action Council
  • Flint Northwestern High School
  • Foss Ave Block Club
  • Freeman Elementary School
  • Grand Blanc Community Schools
  • Pierce Elementary School
  • Powers Catholic High School
  • Southwestern Classical Academy
  • Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village
  • Whaley Children’s Center

Click here to see photos and videos from last year's projects! 

Youth Genesee Serves is powered by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and is a partnership with Youth Service America.