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      Youth Leadership Cabinet donates $57K to area agencies

      Thursday youth leaders from across the Panhandle gave 18 nonprofit organizations a donation to help with various needs.

      "They're very driven, they've got a passion for it, and they excel at what they do," said Youth Cabinet Team Leader Rodney Hess.

      These are the types of students from school districts across the panhandle that have worked as part of the United Way Youth Leadership Cabinet to raise more than 57 thousand dollars for 18 nonprofit organizations.

      "Just giving the money to them and actually seeing their reaction knowing this is going to feed someone, or this is going to help someone get a job in the community, excited," said AACAL Student Representative Elijah Artist.

      United Way's philanthropy of giving is all these students strived for. They raised the money, then allocated it. A process they handled all on their own.

      "So they go out and meet with the agencies, the agencies submit proposals and what they are asking for," said Hess. "So they go and meet with them and find out what they are needing, whether it be a computer or whatever, and they go do their research on it.

      As stewards of the money, seeing the various needs of the agencies is important.

      "Just seeing that, it really strikes a chord in you," said Artis. "Seeing how fortunate you are, and how much you can really do to give back you your community."

      An experience that kept the students motivated throughout the year long process.

      "I loved it! I loved it so much! It was an eye-opening experience," said Artis. "If I could go back and do it again, I'd do it a thousand times over."

      United Way leaders said giving has no age requirement, and the students who chose to be a part of this program, proved that true.

      "You know the kids raise as much money as a lot of companies do," said Hess. "It's really good because they're the next people coming up to do that."

      Thursday the youth presented the various organizations with checks ranging in amounts from 935 dollars to 4,987 dollars.