Local high school girls award $4,000 to non-profit after philanthropy workshop

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A workshop called “Girls Investing in Girls” is teaching young girls the concept of philanthropy.

It’s the first-ever workshop that introduces the concept of philanthropy to young girls throughout Peoria. Fifteen high schoolers throughout Peoria got the chance to see what it’s like to run a non-profit and deal with the grant money.

“People always think it’s when you grow up, you always hear when you grow what do you want to do, but it’s never what do you want to do right now,” said Mendoza.

The Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois invited 15 high schoolers throughout Peoria to the Life Together Center Tuesday.

The girls will actually evaluate two different grants that were written to the women’s fund through our grant cycle, and they will evaluate those two, and they will vote,” said Women’s Fund of Central Illinois Advisory Board Chair, Michelle Nielsen Ott.

The 15 girls also had the chance to vote on a local non-profit that will get a $4,000 check.

“I think that’s one of the cool things about the girls investing in girls is that this is a real thing they’re really giving a $4,000 grant to an area organization. They are going to be able to see that impact locally, they are going to know that they are making a difference in their community,” said Ott.

Adriana Mendoza is a junior at Peoria High School and said it’s a topic she’s been wanting to learn about for a while but never got the chance to until now.

“I just like the fact that they are inviting high schoolers because they always talk to the colleges about this stuff and this isn’t a topic that we get to study in school,” said Mendoza.

Mendoza said it’s motivating her to pursue what she’s always loved doing… giving back.

“Everybody says let’s do this but not we’re doing it… it’s always a let’s try and not we succeeded,” said Mendoza.

The 15 girls voted on the Peoria Public Schools Foundation for their Middle School’s Girls Mentoring Pilot in the amount of $4,000.

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