Palmer Trinity School (PTS) recently hosted its second annual Community Panel Presentation in which students enrolled in its Academy of Agents of Change (AAC) program presented social and environmental change initiatives before a panel of community leaders.
This event was the culmination of a full-year academic course that empowers PTS Upper School students with the skills and experience to design, launch, and manage individual ventures for social change and environmental innovation.
The students presented their community initiatives to a diverse group of community members which included Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava; John D. Fumagalli, president and CEO, Northern Trust/Florida; Caiti Pomerance, alumna, and founder of Debris Free Oceans and in-house counsel at Terranova Corporation; Laura Viveros, vice president and investment counselor, HSBC Private Bank; Adrianna Truby, academic dean, Palmer Trinity School, and Whitney Montgomery, executive director, North Carolina Outward Bound School.
After each presentation, the panel of judges provided an evaluation as well as constructive feedback on the initiative. The winning project was Inti Totes which received $1,000 in seed capital funding to bring the idea to life. Additionally, Rafiki Bracelets and Healthy Habits: Miami were awarded $500 and $250 respectively for their initiatives.
“Our students demonstrated true leadership skills throughout the year by coupling all the thought and effort they put into their initiatives with empathy and a deep sense of personal responsibility toward the community,” said Leopoldo Llinás, program director for Agents of Change at Palmer Trinity School.
Following are the initiatives that were presented:
Healthy Habits Miami promotes healthier eating habits by offering better food choices to its customers within the community. The first product in its line is snow cones. Proceeds are used to create edible gardens at homeless shelters and provide homeless children with after-school play activities.
Inti Totes aims to reduce plastic bag use and waste by providing customers with a fashionable, plastic-free alternative: a shopping bag kit made out of cotton. The shopping kits are made by artisans in Peru and are comprised of one large tote bag and two small produce bags.
Rafiki Bracelets sells pairs of friendship bracelets to encourage cultural awareness and sensitivity, as well as to change the way we give. The purchaser keeps one bracelet and becomes the pen pal of the recipient of the matching bracelet in another country. The funds raised go toward scholarships for the students in the foreign country and to spread friendship across the globe. Rafiki is the Swahili word for “friend.”
Small Steps Art, a nonprofit organization, aims to support the homeless as they transition off the streets by building confidence and pride through art classes, gear to move while living on the streets, and financial support to attend vocational training. Upcycled art sales provide the funds the homeless need to achieve their employment goals through industry-specific vocational training.
Teenve Productions is a video editing company created and managed entirely by high school students. The company’s goal is to get audiences to think, feel or do things differently. They create paid videos for businesses and use the earnings to make pro bono videos for small nonprofit organizations, helping them further advertise their services and continue to make a difference in their community.
We All Matter Miami is a nonprofit that provides children with disabilities the opportunity to do community service work in an inclusion setting. We All Matter Miami promotes events where children with and without disabilities work together to restore endangered lands, clean up beaches, remove invasive species, and plant native plants.
For more information about the AAC-PTS visit www.palmertrinity.org/AAC.