A lesson in philanthropy for teens

Seventeen students from several local high schools doled out a cumulative $20,000 to three area nonprofits focused on improving the lives of older adults during a ceremony last week. The event signified the culmination of a 10-session Future Philanthropists course that teaches teens about the process of finding and supporting local nonprofits, with the funds provided by the Watertown-based Tufts Health Plan Foundation. The students chose to give $10,000 to Action for Boston Community Development to reimburse senior citizens who travel to elementary and preschools to serve as tutors; $8,000 to Shelter Music Boston to provide classical music concerts for Boston’s homeless older adults; and $2,000 to Boston-based Generations Incorporated to increase access to physical activities for older people. During the course, the students learned what nonprofits do and why they exist, and 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 sponsoring Tufts organization. In its second year, the Future Philanthropists Initiative is designed to engage and empower youth to work collectively to assist older adults, according to organizers. For more information, visit www.futurephilanthropists.org.