This unique philanthropy and leadership program supports teens ranging in age from 14-18 as they navigate a selection process that includes community dialogue and interviews to guide their philanthropic decision. The choice to award this grant to ITK came after the group was inspired by the organization’s mission to provide integrative support services to children, their families and caregivers.
Unidas program manager Brigette Villaseñor shares that the goal of the program is to build leadership skills among young women and gender-expansive teens. “The intention behind Unidas is to increase the understanding of the importance of philanthropy while supporting the development of confident young leaders in our community,” she said.
“Upon first learning about ITK, we were thrilled that there was an organization doing the work they do. Once we were able to meet with them, we were absolutely amazed and inspired by their empathy, passion, and devotion to the community. They encompassed everything we were looking for,” shared Unidas participant and mentor Alyssa Norris.
ITK serves approximately 3,000 patients each year with more than 70 percent of their families coming from low-income and underserved communities. More than half of their participants are ethnic and racial minorities, including refugees.
“Our programs focus on the wellbeing of youth and their family and professional caregivers so it was especially meaningful to have received this award from a powerful group of young leaders,” said ITK Program Director Katy Frazee.
The impact from Unidas spans decades and includes collaboration with over 16 schools and more than 30 nonprofit organizations. This number will soon grow as the program plans to roll out in other counties throughout the state.
“We are so thrilled that Unidas recognized the profound importance of humanism and community in our ‘health-caring’ program model,” said Frazee.
How to join Unidas
Unidas is currently accepting applications from high-school students for the Spring semester. Click here to learn more and apply.