A group of local philanthropists believes the problems of today can be addressed by the leaders of tomorrow—and they’re willing to bet on it. Organized by Advisors for Philanthropic Impact, the Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank has challenged students in grades 7 through 12 to come up with creative solutions to community and social issues. Students submitted their ideas last year, and finalists were selected in January. The finalists are:
- Krishna Madala and Neeharika Madala, Atlantic High School. Pitch: Pair senior citizens with teens for companionship and mentoring.
- Madeline Caruso, The Benjamin School. Pitch: Pair senior citizens with older animals for companionship and care.
- Sage Albert and Ally Reeves, Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Pitch: Teach swimming to special-needs children at the YMCA.
- Je’Cynthia Nonar, Glades Central High School. Pitch: Develop a teen summit in the Belle Glade area to encourage youth community leadership.
- Katherine Berlatsky, Andrea Lacher, Caitlen Macias, Sigi Macias, Eva Oliveri, and Sydney Sloan, Grandview Preparatory School. Pitch: Present a curriculum to women’s empowerment clubs to raise awareness of women’s issues.
- Jaslyn Dominique, Royal Palm Beach Community High School. Pitch: Fill backpacks with supplies for underprivileged youth.
- Sabrina Tesalona, St. Andrew’s School. Pitch: Create a rental-shoe program for underprivileged students who need shoes in order to go to school.
- Daniel Clein, Wellington High School. Pitch: Provide Lego kits to hospitalized children to help normalize their lives and keep them entertained during extended hospital stays.
On March 17, the finalists will present their pitches in a Shark Tank–style format in front of four prominent philanthropists at The Harriet Himmel Theater. Each of the four panelists has committed $25,000 to fund pitches that wow in the categories of community impact, program feasibility, solution creativity, sustainability, and team strength. The panelists (pictured below) will also mentor the students for one year in the hopes of turning these innovative ideas into reality.
Julie Fisher Cummings
Danielle H. Moore