Think Big For Kids, a non-profit organization located in Tampa acknowledges the crucial societal turning point occurring in our country right now and the organization recognizes the need for a solution. In response, Think Big For Kids developed a three-pronged approach to address the imperative issues currently facing low-income communities. The approach includes career exploration, mentoring, and job readiness, and placement.

Think Big For Kids Founder Tony DiBenedetto explains the problems we are facing today are systematic and complex and many reforms are needed to ensure authentic equality in our nation. "Injustice is rooted in many forms, but I believe one of its major causes is the economic inequality that exists due to a lack of quality education and access to opportunities," DiBenedetto says. 

Addressing Most Pressing Issues in Low-Income Communities

The organization developed a three-step approach for helping youth in low-income communities through providing career exploration, mentorship, and equipping kids with job-readiness skills and job placement. DiBenedetto explains the purpose of this three-pillar approach is to create awareness for different careers to kids at the middle school age, provide mentors to serve as a role model by giving advice and support, and grant scholarships and internships to the kids to alleviate the financial burden that accompanies the path toward employment. 

What Does Think Big For Kids Do?

Think Big for Kids is committed to helping underprivileged children, regardless of their race or gender, by guiding them to a path of discovering their potential to excel in the workforce, subsequentially helping reduce systematic poverty. The foundation was created over four years ago and their mission is extremely relevant and crucial to enact during this critical time in history. Think Big For Kids stands with the Black Community to work toward eradicating economic inequality and shutting the opportunity gap. "This is our time to help the youth of our nation for a better tomorrow," DiBenedetto explains, "It is our actions today that are going to have a life-lasting impact on the futures of our youth – and they are depending on us."

The Founder's Mission

DiBenedetto founded this organization because he was once one of the underprivileged kids he serves today, so Think Big For Kids is very personal to him. He says he knows what it's like to grow up impoverished and surrounded by crimes and drugs and claims if it wasn't for good friends, teachers, and mentors he wouldn't have been able to escape a life of instability and hardship. "I’m sure my journey was not as difficult as it could have been if I was a person of color," DiBenedetto says. He challenges people to consider and ask themselves 'what are you doing for real change?' He encourages the public to commit to sharing their voices, speaking out against injustices as they see them occur, and educating themselves, including others, to uncover our biases and act in a way that brings critical change. "I implore you to join me during this crucial time to ask the questions. If you are confused, educate yourself. If you feel uncomfortable, engage anyway," DiBenedetto says. 

Think Big For Kids' goal is to expand its programs to reach more youth in our country to continue fostering equal opportunities for children. 

Looking for other ways to help in the Tampa Bay area? Connect with local Tampa charities or St Pete and Clearwater charities and see how you can help. 

Cover photo courtesy of Think Big For Kids