Annual report highlight: Connecting to service

June 27, 2023

Emma Kartes

As a member of the Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), Emma Kartes spent her first year quietly observing. “Then I started getting more comfortable speaking up,” she said. “I learned about communication. I learned that when you take on a leadership role, it’s not just being in charge. It’s making sure everyone is supported and knows that I feel confident in them. I use that all the time now.”

Today, as a college student, Emma is using her skills as she majors in public and nonprofit administration. She is also involved with the Nonprofit Leadership Student Alliance on campus and has an internship with the Council of Michigan Foundations. She has consulted with organizations, written grants, and helped guide giving campaigns. In her internship, Emma provides leadership for statewide youth philanthropy programming.

“I always knew I wanted to do good work for a good reason,” she said. “Being in YAC helped me begin to professionalize my interest in the nonprofit sector.”

Growing up in Newaygo County also served as early inspiration. “Seeing how involved people were in supporting each other, especially youth, made me want to get involved too,” said Emma. “I feel very lucky. All the support I got from the community made me want to give back.”