Local Teens Finalists For Philanthropy Tank

Alex Shnider of Alex’s Free Kicks.

Philanthropy Tank Palm Beach recently has announced the finalists for its 2019 program and live pitch event. The charity received hundreds of applications from students between eighth and 12th grade across Palm Beach County. The application requires students to submit a philanthropic idea that directly addresses issues in Palm Beach County. Applicants’ ideas were judged for their community impact, feasibility, solution creativity, sustainability, and team strengths. The finalists are:

• 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. To date, the organization has collected and donated more than 550 balls and 250 cleats to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County. The program was proposed by Alex Shnider of Wellington, a 10th grader at Wellington High School.

• 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 academic tutoring. The program was proposed by Dreyfoos School of the Arts students Cristina Lindner of West Palm Beach, Mariele Sabat of Boca Raton and Tomás Carter of Royal Palm Beach.

• 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. The program was proposed by Andrea Castillo of Spanish River High School, Harry Castillo of Omni Middle School and Wendy Garcia of Lake Worth High School.

• Book Fairy aims to begin a mailing program where children receive books, comics and magazines directly to their homes from the “Book Fairy” in order to increase literacy skills and excitement for literacy. The program was proposed by Bryce and Aidan Gunning, students at the G Star School of the Arts.

• Code Autism’s mission is to develop and conduct computer coding classes for high school and college-aged students with autism. These courses will help combat the high rate of unemployment among those with autism. The program was proposed by Sophia Lloyd George, an 11th grader at the 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 children in which a design team styles them with makeup, hair and princess dresses for girls or superhero costumes for boys. The program was proposed by Helen Gutierrez of John I. Leonard High School.

• 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. The program was proposed by Lake Worth High School students Lorena Felipe Sebastian, Maria Andres, Magdalena Francisco and Daniella Domingo.

• 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 who attends the Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

Learn more about the program at www.philanthropytank.org.