Amelia Williams, a 17-year-old junior at the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, has always had an interest in the environment and sustainability.
With a passion for environmental conservation and sustainable living, Williams created Green Garments and was recently awarded $10,500 per Philanthropy tanka non-profit organization that challenges, empowers and equips the next generation of changemakers to develop and implement sustainable initiatives and solutions to solve problems in their communities.
Williams, of Boca Raton, was one of five groups of local teens and 14 college students honored, with philanthropy investors investing $51,000, according to Philanthropy Tank CEO Amy Brand.
Through research, she realized that consuming fast fashion was not good for the environment and was also inspired by seeing some companies selling second-hand clothes and wanted to do something similar.
This is where Green Garments comes in. The project will focus on alternatives to current clothing purchases, which are harmful to the environment, waste energy and natural resources.
“There is a specific culture around teenage consumerism these days. Many don’t know it’s fast fashion. I want to be able to change attitudes and show people that clothes lying around can be turned into something beautiful and can be worn for many years,” she said.
The project will raise awareness of eco-friendly alternatives and focus on recycling, reusing, repairing, repurposing and reselling clothing through an online store and at program events.
“I also wanted to teach people how to make their own clothes and teach people how to upcycle old clothes and teach them that you don’t have to buy something new to be fashionable,” he said. she declared.
Aisha Ali is one of four investors from Philanthropy Tank, who has invested in Green Garments. In her third year of involvement, Ali said the main reason she got involved was because “they are incredibly driven and passionate young people and having the opportunity to work with them is just a pleasure and Allowing me to work with them makes me hopeful for the future.”
She said she hopes the biggest lesson students will learn from her is about resilience, she said.
“They have these incredible plans to impact the community and there will inevitably be setbacks. I want them to see that plan A may not have worked, but there are plans B and C that we can adopt to create a successful project.
In its seventh year, Philanthropy Tank has nearly 70 programs running, Brand said.
“We’re embracing student-led philanthropy and increasing those opportunities to develop young leaders and that’s really important to us. What differentiates Philanthropy Tank from other youth programs, I think, is really the implementation and sustainability of the programs that have been started,” Brand said.
Applications for 2023 open May 16, with the application deadline in October. There will be workshops during the summer to teach students how to apply.
“I’m amazed at the Philanthropy Tank program. He provided so many meaningful experiences. It’s a wonderful program. It’s very empowering to know, as a kid who can’t even vote yet, that I can make an impact in my community,” Williams said.
The other winners were:
- Cultivating native oases designed for engagement (GNOME): Mallory Thomas (11th grade, Boca Raton), Alyssa Jiggetts (11th grade, Coconut Creek), Anna Jarvis (11th grade, Boca Raton) and Elise Siegel (12th grade, Highland Beach) from FAU High School. GNOME was built around the idea that being aware of nature and giving back to the community can benefit everyone who participates. GNOME will create community butterfly gardens in underserved communities in Palm Beach County, and eventually expand to more public places. The project will also organize educational panels to raise awareness of environmental issues in Palm Beach County by hosting gardening classes and events. Reward: $10,500 / Mentor: Frances Fisher
- Bridging the gap: Duaa Ali (Grade 11, Palm Beach Gardens), Sahil Bhandary (Grade 11, Wellington), Jayantha Kantamneni (Grade 11, Jupiter) and Cooper Weisman (Grade 11, West Palm Beach) from Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts . Bridging the Gap plans to work with elementary and middle schools in Palm Beach County to provide school supplies to underprivileged schools. Awarded: $10,000 / Mentor: Aisha Ali
- Ditch the vape: Tessie Goron (Grade 10, Wellington) from Wellington High School. Drop the Vape is a program that aims to reduce the number of teenage vaping users in Palm Beach County by establishing a new educational course for students caught with vaping devices at school, offering a text program for quitting smoking for students hoping to quit vaping, and advocating for increased proximity between vape shops and schools. Awarded: $9,000 / Mentor: Tom Vining
- Share the art: Shreya Srinivasan (Grade 12, Wellington), Alyssa Jean Louis (Grade 12, Royal Palm Beach), Ave Goorbarry (Grade 11, Lake Worth) and Nathan Goldin (Grade 10, Jupiter) from the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts . Sharing the Arts is a program that aims to help low-income high school students explore their interest in the arts by providing workshops, supplies, and mentorship. Reward: $11,000 / Mentor: Caroline Cummings Rafferty
To visit philanthropytank.org/.