By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – Seven student-led charity programs earned nearly $90,000 in funding thanks to their pitches made to a group of Philanthropist-Investors. Two teams in Delray Beach, from St. Vincent Ferrer School and American Heritage, were awarded a combined $28,000.
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 month 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.
For the Delray Beach winners, 11th graders at American Heritage School Boca Delray, Gabriel Sun and Brendan Detamore were awarded $14,500 for their project “MoneyBuddies”.
The program 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.
“Being selected as a Philanthropy Tank Finalist feels absolutely splendid,” said Brendan Detamore. “We put in a lot of effort to come this far, so seeing the fruit of our labor makes it all worth it. Looking at the other finalists, it’s clear that we are among great projects and even greater people.”
Gabriel Sun said, “We are very thankful for our generous funding and intend to use it to enhance the quality of our lessons to the best it can be. The majority will go towards purchasing a class set of laptops, which will be used to deliver technology-oriented workshops to our students.”
Adding, “With the remaining funding, we plan to develop a website where content can easily be accessed, we plan to invest in engaging lesson materials, and we plan to grow our influence across the state and nation.”
The other project was awarded $13,500, called “Idea Lab” by Angel Rojas, Pierce Dono, and Oliver Charles-Pierre, all 8th graders from St. Vincent Ferrer School. These students aim to start an Idea lab in the library of the Glades based Hope Rural School based on the principles learned in Design Thinking class.
Through the Idea Lab program, 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.
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, and have also recently announced an expansion to Baltimore, Maryland.