With schools back in session, youth continue to face devastating mental health effects as a result of the pandemic. The Unidas Teen Philanthropy Program can provide high school women and gender-expansive youth with social support, self-care, leadership skills, and college and career readiness.
The pandemic has caused significant increases in anxiety, depression, suicide attempts, and other mental health problems. Late last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association declared the pandemic-related decline in child and adolescent mental health a national emergency.
Unidas, an award-winning after-school program that teaches teens about philanthropy, offers a community for like-minded peers to engage in guided discussions on topics such as leadership, gender equity, social justice and more. Each semester, teens discuss and choose a social issue important to them and select a local nonprofit organization to receive a $5,000 grant.
Unidas Program Manager Brigette Villaseñor shares that there are many benefits associated with philanthropy including an improved sense of purpose, reduced stress and more optimistic outlook.
“It is inspiring to watch these young people transform into confident leaders in front of our eyes,” says WFSA’s Director of Program Engagement Desirée Maultsby.
Unidas is now enrolling high school students in Pima County for the spring semester.
Students should apply if they are:
- Young women/gender-expansive individuals in Arizona between 14-18 years old (high school-aged)
- Interested in social justice and philanthropy
- Looking to give back to their community
- Available to meet weekly (by Zoom)
- Passionate about creating change that empowers women and girls in Arizona