Joe Teplow has met with sponsors, applied for a grant, built a Web site and started his own organization. All before senior calculus. Teplow, a senior at SAR High School in Riverdale, didn’t set out to start Teens for the World (TFTW), a group dedicated to helping other teens conduct charitable projects.
But last year, when he and a friend organized the overwhelmingly successful Skate for Sderot program, a hockey tournament that raised $10,000 for Connections Israel, they knew they weren’t done.
"We learned so much and we wanted to try to give our knowledge to other kids," said Teplow. "That’s when the idea came to help teens organize their own successful projects."
So with some help from his illustrator dad and a grant from Panim El Panim, Teplow began TFTW, and has since helped kids run a myriad of their own charitable projects, including a soccer tournament, a fashion show, a pizza sale and a video game competition.
The organization helps kids with organizing, creating fliers, marketing, and getting sponsors — whatever help the organizers request. And with all his newfound expertise, Teplow is organizing another Skate for Sderot hockey game this May hoping to double the amount raised for charity last year.
TFTW’s newest program is called BB Launch, and is designed specifically for those at bar and bat mitzvah age who are looking for a charitable project. "We want to make sure kids don’t give up before they realize what they can do," he said.
Long Distance: Teplow plans to keep the organization going from Israel, where he’ll be studying next year. On the Side: Teplow is also a certified EMT in his hometown of Teaneck, N.J.
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