RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — They’re only in their teens, but students at Enloe High School in Raleigh have worked to raise $1 million over the years. Its money to help nonprofits in the Triangle.
“We’re kids, doing not kid things,” Sydney Marks said proudly.
This year is no different. They’re working to raise more money. “The goal this year is $200,000. It’s a big number, but we can do it,” she said.
Enloe High School students are raising money through their annual charity ball. It’s a high school dance. Think of it as a party with a purpose
Money raised through ticket sales and donations from the dance will go to Southeast Raleigh Promise, a nonprofit just a few miles down the road. The organization is working to end intergenerational poverty and address affordable housing in the southeast section of the city.
Each year the students pick an organization to support following a rigorous application process. There were 47 applicants this year.
“We really wanted to choose a nonprofit impacting our community, impacting actual students at our school and impacting the future leaders of our school,” explained Marks.
Southeast Raleigh Promise beat out the 46 other applicants.
“This has been the most exciting opportunity of our lifetime as an organization,” said Kia Baker with a smile.
She is leading the way with Southeast Raleigh Promise. Baker said this funding will help them reach more families and students in southeast Raleigh.
“Every cent of money that can get in that bucket can help us to look at strategic ways to provide more affordable housing.”
Baker said this funding is different from any other grant they’ve applied for and will help them expand their reach in Southeast Raleigh.
“The $200,000 that Enloe Charity Ball is working to raise for us is unrestricted, which means we can use it any way we need to and in an environment like this, we really do need flexible funding to tend to the needs of the community.”
Nate Barilich who teaches at Enloe High School and oversees the student council in putting on the charity ball, said the students really connected with Southeast Raleigh Promise. One of the missions of the nonprofit resonates loudly — and that’s affordable housing.
“The beacon site for the affordable housing is already going up. We saw the studs being laid. So, it’s really cool to see the physical manifestation of money. To know what they’re going to do with those funds will have a far greater reach than that $200,000 at its first give,” he explained.
Raising money for Southeast Raleigh Promise is just one way the students of Enloe High School are giving back to the nonprofit. Student are also giving their time by volunteering at the after school program at Southeast Raleigh Elementary.
Jakai Dickerson who is helping organize the charity ball has already volunteered 45 hours at the after school program.
“It’s been great,” Dickerson laughed. “I love working with the kids and seeing the joy.”
A piece of the $200,000 will go towards Club Roar at Southeast Raleigh Elementary School. This will help with staffing and needs for the program. It will also make sure the program stays affordable for parents.
“It’s really not even measurable what this impact has been able to leave,” said Barilich.
The Enloe Charity Ball is scheduled for Saturday. You can purchase tickets or donate here.
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