The event started on August 1st, when Teenage Community CHANGEmakers students were challenged to submit a philanthropic idea that directly addresses issues in Palm Beach County.

Anyone who lives in Palm Beach County or who are enrolled in 8th-12th grade within the county, were able to apply for the 4th year of the Philanthropy Tank program.

Philanthropy Tank program challenges, empowers and equips the applicants to develop and execute sustainable initiatives and solutions to these problems. Philanthropist-Investors fund student initiatives, investing in their community projects. Through one-to-one mentoring, philanthropist-investors also fuel students’ desire, helping them execute initiatives while increasing their ability to make meaningful change.

The fundamental aims of Philanthropy Tank are to help shape students’ leadership paths and, through their creative solutions, address and improve social issues in our community.

To date, Philanthropy Tank has:

  • Generated more than $300,000 in grants for 57 student entrepreneurs for 26 projects
  • Inspired more than 500 students to get in clubs that support Philanthropy Tank programs
  • Impacted more than 200,000 people in our community.

Last year’s Finalists included projects focusing on literacy, clothing and food distribution for those in need, music promotion and computer programming classes for kids, among others. A total of $100,000 of project funding was awarded.

This year the finalists will make their pitch to ‘Philanthropist-Investors” during an event on Sunday, March 10th from 3 pm to 5 pm at the Cohen Pavilion at the Kravis Center. To secure free tickets to the event, click here:

These eight teen-run charities will vie for up to $15,000 in funding during a Shark Tank-like pitch event on March 10th.

Meet the finalists:

Art for the Soul works with disadvantaged children, often from Latin American countries, coming from economic hardships, traumatic experiences, and difficult home lives. Students are taught by students in a variety of subjects from basics of how to play the piano to, visual arts, and tutoring in all academics. The program was proposed by Dreyfoos School For the Arts Students: 10th grader Cristina Lindner of West Palm Beach, 10th grader Mariele Sabat of Boca Raton, 12th grader Tomás Carter of Royal Palm Beach

Alex’s Free Kicks looks to expand its program with Philanthropy Tank support. The organization currently collects soccer balls and cleats in Wellington for those in need throughout Palm Beach County. To date, the organization has collected and donated more than 550 balls and 250 cleats to the Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County. The goal is to collect from soccer fields across the County and get other children to become representatives and lead the local collection. The program was proposed by Alex Shnider of Wellington, a 10th grader attending Wellington Community High School.

STEM Lab is an educational program that targets underrepresented elementary school children. It is a year-long after-school project designed to provide mentorship to low-performing children and ensure their academic success. Students are taught over ten subjects including engineering, robotics, and medical science by local teen volunteers. STEM Lab aims to expand its program across the county with Philanthropy Tank’s support. The program was proposed by: Andrea Castillo, a 12th grader attending Spanish River Community High School, Harry Castillo, an 8th grader attending Omni Middle School in Boca Raton, Wendy Garcia, an 11th grader attending Lake Worth Community High School

Code Autism’s mission is to develop and conduct computer coding classes for high school and college-aged students with autism. Code Autism’s goal is to facilitate an environment of social acceptance, purpose and education and, ultimately, employment for students. These courses will help combat the high rate of unemployment among those with autism. The program was proposed by Sophia Lloyd George of Palm Beach. She is an 11th grader at Oxbridge Academy.

Strong and Beautiful wants to help children battling cancer receive a child-like respite from their struggle and sense of strength. This project aims to organize events for these children in which a design team styles them with makeup, hair, and princess dresses (or superhero costumes for boys). The program was proposed by Helen Gutierrez, an 11th grader from West Palm Beach attending John I Leonard High School. She was inspired by her three-year-old cousin, who lost her battle with cancer.

Mayan Girls looks to serve the Guatemalan Mayan community by translating information such as current events, weather alerts, news topics, and community events. The program wants to assist this population who miss critical information because of a high rate of illiteracy in any language. They will record, edit, and produce work to share via social media. The program proposed by Lake Worth High School Community School students: 10th grader Lorena Felipe Sebastian, 11th grader Maria Andres, and Magdalena Francisco and Daniella Domingo, who are both in 9th grade.

Alive with Music seeks to use the art of music as a way to help restore the memories of patients that have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. The program was proposed by Mara Vaknin, an 11th grader from Lake Worth. She attends the Dreyfoos School of Arts