Published On: Tue, Apr 12th, 2022

Boca Raton Teen Philanthropists Awarded More Than $10,000 in Philanthropy Tank Finals Event

Boca Raton, FL – Palm Beach County-Philanthropy Tank Philanthropist Investors awarded a total of $51,000 to five local teen group finalists at this year’s Finals Event on April 11th. The nonprofit challenges, empowers, and equips the next generation of CHANGEmakers to develop and execute sustainable initiatives and solutions to solve problems in their communities. GNOME, a program founded by a team of FAU High School students, received $10,500. The students leading GNOME will also be mentored by Frances Fisher, Chairman of the Board and Founding Chairman of the Gardens Conservancy at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens.  14 local teens make up the five group finalists. Each group took turns presenting their programs at Palm Beach Dramaworks in front of four Philanthropist Investors, Aisha Ali, Caroline Cummings Rafferty, Frances Fisher, and Tom Vining. These local philanthropists and entrepreneurs decided the amount of funding to invest in each program. They also chose a group to mentor to help the students execute their initiatives and increase their ability to make meaningful change. All finalists will now spend the next few months getting their programs up and running, or expanding what they already have in place. 
  This year’s five Finalists and amounts awarded include: 

·      Growing Native Oases Made for Engagement (GNOME): Mallory Thomas (11th Boca Raton), Alyssa Jiggetts (11th Coconut Creek), Anna Jarvis (11th Boca Raton), and Elise Siegel (12th Highland Beach) from FAU High School – GNOME was conceived from the idea that being mindful about nature and giving back to the community can benefit anyone who participates. GNOME will create community butterfly gardens in underserved communities in Palm Beach County, and eventually expand to more public locations. The project will also hold educational panels to raise awareness about environmental issues in Palm Beach County through hosting gardening lessons, and events.Awarded: $10,500/ Mentor: Frances Fisher

·      Green Garments: Amelia Williams (11th Delray Beach) from Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts – Green Garments will inform Palm Beach County students about alternatives to their current clothing purchase and use patterns, which are harmful to the environment, and waste energy and natural resources. The project will raise awareness of eco-friendly alternatives, and focus upon the recycling, reuse, repair, repurposing, and reselling of clothing through an online store and at program events.Awarded: $10,500/ Mentor: Aisha Ali

·      Bridging the Gap: Duaa Ali (11th Palm Beach Gardens), Sahil Bhandary (11th Wellington), Jayantha Kantamneni (11th Jupiter), and Cooper Weisman (11th West Palm Beach) from Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts- Bridging the Gap plans to work with elementary and middle schools in Palm Beach County to provide school supplies to underprivileged schools. “We hope to bridge the education inequality gap through our program in which we not only tutor students at these schools but, with funding, will be able to provide them with the supplies to truly succeed in their educational environment.”Awarded: $10,000/ Mentor: Aisha Ali  ·      Drop the Vape: Tessie Goron (10th Wellington) from Wellington High School – Drop the Vape is a program that aims to decrease the number of teen vape users in Palm Beach County by establishing a new educational course for students caught with vape devices at school, offering a text-to-quit program for students hoping to stop vaping, and advocating for an increase in the proximity between vape shops and schools.  Awarded: $9000/ Mentor: Tom Vining  ·      Sharing the Arts: Shreya Srinivasan (12th Wellington), Alyssa Jean Louis (12th Royal Palm Beach), Ave Goorbarry (11th Lake Worth), and Nathan Goldin (10th Jupiter) from Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts – Sharing the Arts is a program that aims to support low-income middle school students exploring their interest in the arts by offering workshops, supplies, and mentorship.Awarded: $11,000/ Mentor: Caroline Cummings Rafferty
 Philanthropy Tank received hundreds of applications from students between 8th and 12th grade from across Palm Beach County. The application requires students to submit a philanthropic idea that directly addresses issues in their community.    To date, Philanthropy Tank student-led programs in Palm Beach County and Baltimore have impacted more than 300,000 lives; more than 1000 students have participated in the student programs; and more than $700,000 in grant money has been awarded to nearly 70 student-led projects. This is Philanthropy Tank’s 7th year operating this unique program in Palm Beach County. The locally grown success has resulted into expansion for the nonprofit into Baltimore, Maryland, now in its second year. Philanthropy Tank plans on continuing expansion in the near future.

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