A Philadelphia nonprofit is $50,000 richer after Wawa presented its 2022 Wawa Foundation Hero Award Monday morning.
Voted by the public, Cristo Rey High School in Philadelphia won the Wawa Foundation Hero Award at the July 4 Wawa Welcome America celebration of freedom ceremony.
Members of the public were asked to vote for the non-profit organization they would like to see win the Wawa Foundation Hero Award Gold Medal. On Monday, Wawa Vice President of Legal and Risk Management, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Mike Eckhardt said Cristo Rey Philadelphia HS received the most votes.
The college-preparatory high school received a $50,000 grant to continue to support and inspire its young people. Each of the other three finalists received a $10,000 grant, Wawa said.
“The Wawa Foundation Hero Award honors a nonprofit organization and its volunteers, serving Philadelphia by providing services that strengthen communities by preserving our independence, protecting our safety, and mentoring and inspiring our youth,” said the Wawa Foundation on its website.
Coded by Kids, Mighty Writers and Philadelphia Youth Basketball were the other 2022 finalists.
Here are the stories of the winner and runners-up from each “Hero” nonprofit posted on the Wawa site:
Philly Live’s Aunyea Lachelle is joined by Dr. Flannery O’Connor, principal of Cristo Rey High School in Philadelphia, to talk about “a school that works.” Cristo Rey is one of four finalists for the 2022 Wawa Foundation Hero Award and an accompanying $50,000 grant.
“Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, a Catholic preparatory school for students of all faiths, nurtures and challenges 550 underserved students to recognize and realize their full potential. To ensure all students are college-ready After graduation, the Cristo Rey program combines a rigorous, data-driven academic curriculum with paid professional internships. All students work four days a week in professional jobs with Philadelphia-area companies, earning 50% of the cost of their education through their own labor. In partnership with our students and their families, Cristo Rey Philadelphia faculty, staff, work partners and supporters are everyday heroes who work to have a positive impact on the future of hundreds of young men and women in Philadelphia.”
The Philadelphia Youth Basketball organization is a finalist for the Wawa Foundation’s $50,000 Hero Award. Philly Lives’ Aunyea Lachelle spoke with Ameen Akbar, Philadelphia Youth Basketball’s mission manager, about the work the nonprofit does in communities across the city.
“Philadelphia Youth Basketball (PYB) is a community-based youth empowerment organization that leverages the iconic game of basketball to help today’s urban youth overcome the most pressing and systemic issues facing communities. PYB hosts workshops, has accumulated over 6,500 hours of programming, and served over 275,000 meals. They have partnered with more than 70 schools, recreation centers, churches, synagogues, and mosques in the city of Philadelphia PYB has over 250 volunteers a year and 50 mentors PYB prioritizes investment in the development of adult staff, particularly our coach-mentors, the majority of whom come from similar circumstances and communities as young people in our programs. They are currently working to open a $30 million complex, The Alan Horwitz,˜Sixth Man’ Center, which will serve as a safe place of refuge and vehicle for a empowerment for thousands of boys and girls a year. PYB helps thousands of young people find their voice, value and visibility in their critical years of formative years — to bring about meaningful community change and sustainable economic mobility. »
Philly Live’s Aunyea Lachelle talks to Coded by Kids COO Denae Mobley about the work the Philadelphia nonprofit does in the community. Coded by Kids is one of four finalists for the Wawa Foundation Hero Award and a $50,000 grant during the Wawa Welcome America festivities on July 4th.
“Coded by Kids’ mission is to prepare underrepresented youth to succeed as technology and innovation leaders through high-quality technology education, project-based learning, mentorship and real business opportunities.The organization began as a passion project for military veterans.and Philadelphia native Sylvester Mobley, who grew the organization’s impact by serving a few kids at a Philadelphia recreation center at a organization that now serves hundreds of children a year in many locations.Today, Coded by Kids educates, inspires and mentors the next generation of technology and innovation leaders in Philadelphia with programs that teach development web, digital design, tech startup and entrepreneurship concepts, running city-wide coding contests, internships and opps Mentoring opportunities to help children learn technical skills. heroes in their own future with programs that will prepare them for evolving, high-growth and highly-skilled careers.”
Mighty Writers’ goal is to enable children to read clearly and speak effectively, increasing overall college graduation and admission rates. Philly Live’s Aunyea Lachelle talks to Brianna Johns about all that Mighty Writers has to offer.
“The mission of Mighty Writers is to teach children ages 3-17 to think clearly and write with clarity so they can succeed in school, work, and life. Through programs in After-school and summer writing, Mighty Writers builds communities, champions the stories of diverse young writers, and inspires every student to reach their maximum potential. Mighty Writers is the only nonprofit organization that offers free writing programs, high quality, bilingual, cultural and community education to children, ages 3-17 Less than 70% graduate from high school in the areas served, and the literacy proficiency rate hovers around 35% for their grade level. achieve their goals, Mighty Writers programs take a holistic approach. They know that kids can’t think clearly when they’re hungry. That’s why Mighty Writers continues to support their communities. with food and other essential resources. Through the organization’s core values of resilience, respect and optimism, young people develop their superpower – the power of the pen!”
Past honorees include the Veterans Group (2021), Broad Street Ministry (2020), Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports (2019), Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia (2018), Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey (2017) and SPIN (2016).
Congratulations to the group of veterans! The organization, a homeless facility serving Philadelphia-area veterans, with an emphasis on those whose service resulted in mental or physical health issues, is the recipient of the Wawa Foundation Hero Award from this year and will receive a grant of $50,000.