Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank Finalists Announced

February 5, 2016



WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (February 3, 2016) – Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank is excited to announce that the review process is complete, and nine creative initiatives have been selected to advance to the final round. This exciting new challenge offers local middle and high school students an opportunity to create and implement innovative solutions to community issues and social problems in Palm Beach County. More than 35 submissions were received and evaluated by the Advisors for Philanthropic Impact (API), a group comprised of trust and estate attorneys, CPAs, financial advisors, life insurance professionals, and non-profit leaders, all who are Chartered Advisors in Philanthropy (CAP©).

The students behind the selected programs are now invited to “pitch” their ideas live, on stage on March 17 at the Harriet Himmel Theater at CityPlace. The public is welcome to attend at no cost but RSVP’s are required and seating is limited. The judges are comprised of four area philanthropist who each personally committed $25,000. William Meyer, Julie Fisher Cummings and Danielle H. Moore of Palm Beach, and Eric Becker of Jupiter are excited to fund ideas that directly achieve unique and creative solutions. Finalists will have the opportunity to receive up to $15,000 for their idea, and will be mentored by the contributing philanthropist for the year that follows the event.

“We were delighted and pleasantly surprised with the quantity and quality of the students’ submissions. All of the ideas were innovative, and most reflected out-of-the-box thinking which made the job harder to narrow it down to the nine finalists,” said Evan C. Deoul, AB Bernstein’s Senior Managing Director, who co-chairs Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank with Michael L. Kohner, Managing Director of Andersen Tax.

Applicants were required to submit a description of their project that included community impact, program feasibility, solution creativity, sustainability and team strength. The type of social issues addressed by the selected  students include animal care, hospitalized children, elder care, homelessness, education for underprivileged students, education for emotionally and/or physically challenged youth, and public health. The finalists, listed in alphabetical order by school, are:

  • Atlantic High School: Krishna Madala and Neeharika Madala 
  • The Benjamin School: Madeline Caruso
  • Dreyfoos School of the Arts: Sage Albert and Ally Reeves
  • Glades Central High School: Je’Cynthia Nonar 
  • Grandview Preparatory School: Katherine Berlatsky, Andrea Lacher, Caitlen Macias, Sigi Macias, Eva Oliveri, Sydney Sloan
  • Rosarian Academy: Meredith Anderson, Gemma Conroy, Bella Vega-Dadurian, Hope Diffenderfer, Devyn Dyett, Gabriela Faber, Jack Fields, Isabella Fiorentino, Marlowe Flom, Liam Groth, Bettina Johnston, Sofia Mendez, Drew O’Brien, Thomas Raymond, Jack Shepherd
  • Royal Palm Beach Community High School: Jaslyn Dominique
  • St. Andrew’s School: Sabrina Tesalona
  • Wellington High School: Daniel Clein 


Finalists will gather together for the first time on February 7 to meet with mentors from API, and will have approximately six weeks to perfect their pitch.

Sponsors for this inaugural event include Braman Motorcars, Gunster Law Firm, AB Bernstein, Quantum Foundation, FPL, Celedinas Insurance Group, O’Donnell Agency, Otis Elevators, Lennar and Publix. The challenge is co-produced by the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County and the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. 

To RSVP for the March 17 event, please contact

            About API: Advisors for Philanthropic Impact is a nonprofit organization of professional philanthropic advisors who want to inspire and assist the philanthropic community through advising, educating and raising awareness. The Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank program is an outgrowth of API's successful youth educational initiative, which introduced the unique 10-week curriculum, Main Street Philanthropy, into local schools. 

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