Next Gen Partners | Awards Inaugural Grants

May 5, 2017

The 2016-2017 Next Generation Partners board has completed our full competitive grant cycle – culminating at the Partner’s Spring Fling event on April 27. We will begin prepping for next year and will delve deep into reflections on the year and improvements for the years to follow. We are determined to grow the program and get more teen partners on board.

This year, thanks to the generous support of SVPAZ Partners and friends, we raised more than $4,000 dollars and gave out two grants to Arizona Education Foundation and AZStrut. We were thrilled Maggie Zehring from AEF and Tom Mehlert from AZStrut joined us to receive the grants. Read our press release for more details.

Phoebe Wells, Tom Mehlert, executive director of AZ Strut, Steve Smiley, SVPAZ program manager, Maggie Zehring, deputy director of Arizona Education Foundation, Josh Smith and Evan Peck.

Not only has SVPAZ offered all the Next Gen Partners an opportunity to delve into the grant process but they have also given me the opportunity to network and make great connections in the Phoenix community. I feel more ingrained and inspired to be an advocate for nonprofits now more than ever. I will be working outside of SVPAZ with the winner from the 2010 Fast Pitch Go Purple (now Bloom365) and extending my reach past the board. What you don’t realize before really being involved the nonprofit sector is how small some of these organizations are and how much just getting involved can push their visions.

Students with NGP Lead Partner Tracy Powers

Terri Wogan Calderon introducing the NGP students

Phoebe introducing the grant recipients

















The board helped teach all of us as members to communicate, brainstorm, and work together for a common goal- helping our community. Our theme “education, innovation, and technology” allowed us to be connected to the change we were making. As students we understand the importance of needing technology so we can be prepared for coming into a tech-savvy workforce and the importance of recognizing the teachers and schools doing amazing work to support their students. Not only did this hit home for us, but it gave us a chance to giveback to the system that is preparing us for the future. So look out for us next year as we start a new cycle and conquer a new social issue.

If you or a teen in 6th to 12th grade that you know is interested in getting involved in our Next Gen Partner program, please email

Phoebe WellsPhoebe Wells is a member of the inaugural Next Gen Partner class and a junior at Arizona School for the Arts. At school she is involved in many clubs including: ambassadors, feminist alliance, advocate National Honors Society, Mock Trial, and Mu Alpha Theta. As a member of Mock Trial I have participated in state championships twice and was chosen to be on the First Arizona All State Team.