Eating disorders? Gun violence? Jobs? Drug use? A group of budding grant-makers wants to know what issues area teens consider most important.

Members of the Teen Grantmaking Initiative (TGI), a project of the Center for Arab American Philanthropy, met Sunday to weigh what they consider to be most important to young people and how their grant-making can support those issues.

After hearing from Breannah Alexander, program associate for Youth Philanthropy at the Council of Michigan Foundations, about why a needs assessment is vital to their work as grant-makers, the teens reviewed needs assessments created by other youth advisory councils and formatted their own assessment, keeping aspects they liked and changing the pieces that didn’t fit.

Now they’re asking their peers to weigh in. Area teens can fill out TGI’s needs assessment survey by clicking here.

Unlike other youth advisory councils whose funds are generally allocated to programs in a specific region, TGI has no such restrictions. The teens can decide to make grants to any demographic group, local, national or international, that they find most compelling.

TGI members on Sunday discussed where their funds would be most impactful, including an innovative program in Utah that helps disabled adults and an organization in Africa that helps feed poor children. Ultimately, they decided to focus on metro Detroit because they understand the needs of this region.

The teens will use the information gained from their needs assessment to further focus their grant-making.

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