Tufts Health Plan Foundation Future Philanthropists Award $20K to Three Boston-Area Nonprofits

Local High School Students Select Three Healthy Aging Programs to Receive Grants as Culmination of Leadership Initiative

WATERTOWN, MA – May 2, 2013 – The Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced today that its 2013 Future Philanthropists have selected three Boston-area nonprofits to receive $20,000 in funding for healthy aging programs. The nonprofits include Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), Shelter Music Boston and Generations Incorporated.

A ceremony took place last night during which the 17 students who participated in the weekly leadership initiative presented checks to the organizations. Students hailed from both public and denominational schools including Cristo Rey Boston High School in Dorchester, Gann Academy in Waltham, Lexington Christian Academy and Watertown High School as well as the civic group Boston Young Muslims Engaging.

As part of the program, the students learned what nonprofits do and why they exist, including how to conduct research, read a budget and make a presentation. They were then tasked with undertaking a full grant process, including proposal reviews and site visits, and were allotted $20,000 from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation to award as grants to organizations focused on improving the lives of older adults.

“I never thought I would be so passionate about something like this,” said Ligia Flores, a junior at Cristo Rey Boston High School. “It makes me feel proud to know I’m helping out my community by giving money to organizations that will put it to good use.”

This year, the students selected three organizations to receive funding:

Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) received $10,000 for its Foster Grandparents program. The grant will be used to reimburse low-income older adults for transportation to pre-schools, Head Start centers and elementary schools, so that the older adults can provide literacy, math and school readiness tutoring as well as social and emotional support to children with special needs in Boston and Quincy.

“Our Foster Grandparents have long been a vital resource to our neighborhoods and community-at-large, and offer a wealth of knowledge and experience to the children and students whom they volunteer with on a daily basis,” said ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew. “We thank the Tufts Health Plan Foundation Future Philanthropists for selecting ABCD for this award.”

The second nonprofit recipient, Shelter Music Boston, received an $8,000 grant to provide classical music concerts for Boston’s homeless older adults.

“Thirty-three percent of Boston’s nearly 4,000 homeless are over 50,” said Julie Leven, founder, executive and artistic director of Shelter Music Boston. “By performing live classical chamber music concerts directly in homeless shelters, we’re able to bring joy, respite and positive human interaction into the lives of the elderly homeless, as well as the lives of those who care for them. With this funding, Shelter Music Boston will be able to perform more than 10 additional concerts at Pine Street Women’s Inn over the next year.”

Lastly, Generations Incorporated received a $2,000 grant to increase access to and engagement with physical activities for older adults.

“Older adults can benefit tremendously from the effects of physical activity, yet many face issues of accessibility, including barriers of cost, transportation, and locating age-appropriate fitness classes,” said Mary Gunn, executive director of Generations Incorporated. “With this grant from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation Future Philanthropists, we can expand the exercise portion of our Active Aging program to provide two free Zumba Gold classes on a weekly basis for three months to our older adult volunteers in Boston and Revere.”

Now in its second year, the Tufts Health Plan Foundation Future Philanthropists Initiative is designed to engage and empower youth to work collectively to serve older adults through philanthropy. The program is a collaboration between the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and the Boston area nonprofit Future Philanthropists.

About Future Philanthropists
By entrusting youth to give away real money to nonprofit organizations, Future Philanthropists teaches youth about the needs within their own communities, their role as active citizens, and the meaning of “giving back.” Using teamwork, collaboration and leadership skills, students are empowered to help the most deserving charities while simultaneously strengthening their ability to write, review effective budgets, and present to one another. Since 2009, with the support of several foundations, this program has enabled over 400 youth to donate $300,000 to community based organizations. Visit www.futurephilanthropists.org.

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