Philanthropy Tank awards Belle Glade teens $10,500

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
BELLE GLADE — Eleventh-graders Anajiah Graham (right) and I’Yunni Phillips (left) of Glades Central High School were awarded $10,500 for their charity Stand Up and Be Counted.

WEST PALM BEACH — Eight student-led charity programs earned more than $96,000 in funding thanks to their pitches made to a group of philanthropist-investors.

For the last four years, Philanthropy Tank finalists made their presentations on a stage in front of hundreds of audience members. This year’s “finals” event scheduled for the Kravis Center was canceled because of the coronavirus.

Last week the select group of teens finally received their opportunity to present their charity ideas virtually. Sunday afternoon, Philanthropy Tank debuted the recorded Live Finals Event program on its Facebook page and website at philanthropytank.org. A mentor was assigned to each charity and each program was eligible to be awarded up to $15,000 in funding.

Anajiah Graham and I’Yunni Phillips of Glades Central presented their charity Stand Up; Be Counted. Their organization concentrates on the Glades area with the goal to increase the number of individuals who first complete and return the census documents and who register to vote. The 11th graders from Glades Central were awarded $10,500.

Here are the rest of the programs with the amounts they were awarded:

• Empower Your Hour — Cameron Newman, 10th grade, Saint Andrews; awarded $7,000;
Teens can visit the Empower Your Hour online marketplace, where they can filter their interests and preferences and can find meaningful service opportunities listed by nonprofit organizations.

• Girls Help Girls — Rithika Kacham, 11th grade, Suncoast High School; awarded $15,000;
Girls Help Girls is a project that aims to help women in need receive proper hygiene products such as diva cups and pads by raising awareness about the lack of access women have to proper hygiene products.

• Hello Hygienics — Nishah Jaferi and Jonathan Beres, 11th grade, Spanish River High School; awarded $10,000;
In Palm Beach County, the issue of homelessness is marked by limited access to basic needs such as dental care, skin care, feminine products and more. Hello Hygienics strives to combat this barrier to proper sanitation by providing handy, on-the-go, wellness kits to prioritize health for the less fortunate.

• Idea Lab — Angel Rojas, Pierce Dono and Oliver Charles-Pierre, eighth grade, St. Vincent Ferrer School; Awarded $13,500;
These students aim to start an Idea Lab in the library of the Glades-based Hope Rural School based on the principles we have learned in Design Thinking class. Students will have a setup where they can gather tools and materials to create, invent, tinker and fabricate as a community through hands-on design and construction.

• MoneyBuddies — Gabriel Sun and Brendan Detamore, 11th Grade, American Heritage; awarded $14,500;
MoneyBuddies is a program that intends to inspire the youth of Palm Beach County by providing them with fun, free lessons in basic principles of financial literacy and proper money management.

• South Florida Tech for Seniors — Sam Friedman, 10th grade, Suncoast High School; awarded $15,000;
This program will work to help local senior citizens with their technology needs while teaching them basic skills to be self-sufficient.

• Venture — Awarded $10,500
Venture is a student-led initiative based at Dreyfoos School of the Arts. The primary goal of this project is to spread work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills to elementary and middle school students within Palm Beach County.

This is Philanthropy Tank’s fifth year of supporting future “changemakers.” In that time, students have created and continue to run organizations supporting music/art education, women’s empowerment, underprivileged children, pediatric cancer patients and more. Following this recent event, Philanthropy Tank has awarded more than $500,000 in funding and provided hundreds of hours of mentorship for teens who have started nearly three dozen local charities.

Philanthropy Tank’s local success has led to its recently announced expansion to Baltimore, Md.

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