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About Us

Leelanau Investing For Teens, or LIFT, is a free, out-of-schooltime program for 6th through 12th graders in Leelanau County, Michigan. Beginning in 2017 as a small youth program, LIFT has grown to provide daily activities for middle schoolers at Suttons Bay, Northport, and Glen Lake Schools all year long. LIFT also partners with Suttons Bay and Northport High Schools to support our area's high schoolers through daily mentoring, homework help, weekend activities, and co-hosting school events, such as homecoming and prom. Whether it's rock climbing, going to a concert, or sitting down to a puzzle with a teen, we ultimately strive to see all of Leelanau County's youth experiencing community connection and support.


We envision youth of Leelanau County making up a vibrant and inclusive collective of empowered leaders and engaged citizens invested in a brighter future for our community.


We empower Leelanau County’s youth to discover and embrace their strengths to become kind leaders by investing in their evolution, autonomy, and character.


  • Vibrancy: we live in a vibrant community with wonderful people, cultures, and experiences that attract others from all over. We embrace our students' contagious state of living to share and celebrate everything that unites us and all that sets us apart. 

  • Authenticity: our work at LIFT includes authentic communication and representation. This means sharing in the highs and lows and allowing students to be a part of the process. 

  • Diversity & Inclusivity: the acceptance and love of all students is central to our mission as a teen center. LIFT is committed to embracing diversity in staff, programming, and decision-making for programs without biases of gender, race, age, sexuality, or socioeconomic status.

  • Collaboration: we recognize that true social change necessitates intentional collaboration. We make it a priority to partner with local churches, community members, non-profit agencies, local businesses, and government systems for the good of all teens in Leelanau County. 

  • Innovative: we prioritize creative solutions to complex needs in our community and its school districts. 

  • Transparency: LIFT values being honest, open, and transparent in all things. This accommodates accessibility to important information such as financial records and meeting minutes. 

  • Accessibility: LIFT prioritizes accessibility as a crucial way to develop a community that is inclusive of all students. We intentionally create spaces and programs that are accessible to all students who choose to come together and learn about one another. 

  • Consistency & Reliability: teens can rely on LIFT to always be a welcoming place where they feel heard, loved, and seen. 

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