By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Teens from YOUTHadelphia announced grants totaling $85,000 on Thursday.
The Philadelphia Foundation has given 19 teenagers the power of the purse-strings. Their mission: to identify nine organizations worthy enough to split $85,000. The teens focused on four areas of concern: youth homelessness, mentoring, delinquency and LGBTQ support.
“We all got together and discussed and were able to come to a conclusion. I felt like I was actually able to make a difference, like people were actually willing to listen.”
High school junior Oberon Wackwitz, 17, says he fought for groups close to his heart.
“I really, really know what it’s like to be a gay male in Philly and what happens when you are surrounded by heterosexuals who don’t understand what it’s like to be gay or transgendered.”
Manny Gonzalez works for Norris Square Neighborhood Project. They received $10,000 to develop a youth-run YouTube channel.
“Right now, we work out of a warehouse without windows, with one computer and little tiny cameras. We’re going to use the money to buy cameras, recording equipment, to get computers and get the training we need.”
YOUTHadelphia is the Youth and Philanthropy Committee of The Philadelphia Foundation’s Fund for Children.
Eight groups received grants of $10,000 each, including, Asian Americans United for the Chinese Youth Organizing Project and GALAEI for a LGBTQ alternative prom. The Physicians for Social Responsibility received a $5,000 grant for its Youth Court program.