The Westfield Area Youth Volunteer Experience Program is seeking applicants to join it's Teen Philanthropy Board.

WESTFIELD, NJ -- Jill Dispenza, Program Director for The Westfield Area Youth Volunteer Experience (WAYVE) Program today announced that applications are now being accepted for the 2019 WAYVE Teen Philanthropy Board.

“The WAYVE Teen Philanthropy Program seeks to educate teens on the vital roles that non- profit agencies play in improving the lives of the residents of Union County, by walking the teens, step- by- step, through the entire grant review process,” Dispenza said.

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The WAYVE Program is made possible through a grant from the Westfield Foundation and is coordinated by Jewish Family Service of Central NJ (JFSCNJ), a non-profit, non-sectarian health and social service agency serving all residents of Union County.

The prospective WAYVE Teen Philanthropy Program applicants are expected to fill out an application expressing their interest in applying to the program and make a one-time donation of $300 each to serve on the board. Limited scholarships will be available. These donations will be used to partially fund the grants.

Janet Sarkos, president of the Westfield Foundation expressed the Foundation’s desire to “Cultivate and educate the next generation of future philanthropists in our area.”  

Tom Beck, JFSCNJ Executive Director, said the effort will further “Sensitize teens to have a better understanding of the gamut of nonprofit agencies in the area and help donate the funds they require to fulfill their missions.”

The WAYVE Teen Philanthropy Program will be open to high school students in their freshman through junior year who reside in Westfield or the neighboring areas. Once accepted to the board, the participants are expected to attend all six meetings beginning on March 11 and continuing on March 25, April 29, May 6 and 13, and ending with the announcement of grant recipients on May 20.

All meetings will take place at The Westfield Foundation, located at 301 North Avenue West, in Westfield at 7 p.m.

The WAYVE Teen Philanthropy Board will be mentored by Tom Beck, Executive Director of Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, Janet Sarkos, President of the Westfield Foundation, and Darielle Walsh, Westfield community leader.

These seasoned mentors will help teens decide which proposals will receive their support based on addressing the needs to improve the lives of Union County residents.

Under the guidance of their mentors, the members of the WAYVE Teen Philanthropy Board will be involved with the proposal review and selection process. The final meeting on May 20 will culminate with the award of grants to the proposal they have chosen to fund. This awarding of grants will be publicized in local news venues.

Anyone who is interested in applying to the program should email for an online link to the application.

Teens are encouraged to visit the WAYVE Facebook and Instagram pages and search the hashtag #ridethewayve to learn more about volunteer opportunities in the program.