A nonprofit that supports underserved kids and families last fall launched a teen leadership program, raising thousands for its programs.

Agape Youth and Family Center, based on the Westside of Atlanta, held its inaugural “Agape Teen Leaders” program from September to December. The program selected 27 students in the ninth to 12th grades and charged them with raising $1,500 each.

Collectively, the group was able to raise $52,760 to help fund after-school programs for kids in need, said Lacy Hernandez, a board member for Agape.

“The teens found unique ways to meet their fundraising goals,” Hernandez said in an email to Reporter Newspapers. For example, a few teens used their artistic talents to fundraise, creating paintings, hand-made jewelry and custom ornaments. “The success of the Agape Teen Leaders program can be contributed to the creativity and thoughtfulness of its participants.”

The teens also attended workshops with Goodwill and Roark Capital to learn about servant leadership and philanthropy, said Hernandez. In addition, they tutored Agape students and worked on a holiday gift drive that benefitted 500 families in Westside Atlanta.

Agape plans to hold the program again this fall, with applications opening on March 21 and closing on May 2.

Agape’s mission is to empower and support underserved families to discover, embrace and achieve their full potential. More information can be found at agapeatlanta.org.

Amy Wenk was editor of Reporter Newspapers in 2021-22.