Tell Me Something Good: Wawa Foundation "Hero Award"

Four finalists are in the running for the $50,000 grant grand prize.

May 23, 2018

The Wawa Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which was established to support the philanthropic activities and charitable giving of your favorite convenience store and mine.  Every year, it offers the "Hero Award", recognition which is given to a local nonprofit organization which supports stronger communities, protects and preserves our independence, and mentors and inspires our youth.  It is a prestigious honor, which is augmented by the $50,000 grand prize.

The Foundation is leaving it up to the public to decide the winner, and voting is open on its website from May 22nd through June 15th.  The Hero Award is launched during the Wawa Welcome America! festival, the winner announced during the Independence Day morning ceremony on July 4th.  Even more good news is that the three runners-up each receive a $10,000 grant.  

“All of us at Wawa were truly inspired to hear about the work that so many area nonprofits are doing to help others and improve their communities,” said The Wawa Foundation President, Jared Culotta.

The four finalists were chosen because of their organization's efforts to improve quality of life and offer support to those in need.  They are:

1.  Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia

Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia aims to enable all young people to reach their full potential as responsible, productive, and compassionate citizens.  They foster relationships between adult professionals and local youths, to offer life-enhancing programs and character development experiences.  BGCP serves over 8,900 children, making it one of the largest youth-development organizations in the city.

2.  Education Works

EducationWorks' programming engages youth by providing high-quality educational programs that reengage disconnected young adults through education and career readiness programs throughout Philadelphia and Camden.  It focuses on topics like literacy, STEAM, and social-emotional and experiential learning.  It provides our students with the ability to dream big, to seek opportunities outside their day-to-day experiences, and to fail without fear.  As a result, students are empowered and confident, at school, at home, and in the community.

3.  Inn Dwelling

Inn Dwelling strives to enable community members to achieve self-sufficiency and upward mobility.  The organization serves gifted, underprivileged, at-risk Philadelphia youths from 11 through 18 with a variety of after-school tutoring, test prep, STEAM skills, community service, and leadership development.  Inn Dwelling utilizes mentoring and advocacy to give students a better chance at success, with a goal of breaking the cycle of poverty and empowering the next generation with the right tools to inspire, thrive, and lead.

4.  Philadelphia Fire Department Explorer Youth Program

The Philadelphia Fire Department Explorers utilizes teens interested in EMS, fire science, disaster relief, and military-related training, as they work side by side with the Philadelphia Fire Department.  They help emergency response organizations be more adaptive in providing service to ever-changing communities.  Through a mix of mentoring, classroom instruction, and hands-on training, the program also helps to build character, leadership, responsibility, and personal fitness by performing the same tasks as the Philadelphia Fire Department.

You can head to the Wawa Foundation's website HERE, because YOUR VOTE MATTERS!  You can help determine which of these fine organizations takes home the first prize $50,000 grant, and we don't envy you that choice...any one of them deserves the honor.