A monetary grant tends to goes a long way, especially when it changes a young person's life and promotes positive change within a community.
"I did open eyes and I opened ears, and I got to meet people and it's good to know different business people from different communities because sometimes that's a really good help because you might not know what you may need help with," said Tanasia Ticking.
This is why for three years the Perrin Family Foundation has consistently partnered with the Human Services Council (HSC), in its effort to promote youth-led social change at Briggs High School.
"They're stepping up, coming to the table, working on solutions and the community itself benefits from that as well," said Kelly Weldon, Perrin Family Foundation grants manager. "And what young people are doing is truly awesome and so very inspiring."
Recently the foundation granted $25,000 to the Dr. Robert E. Appleby School Based Health Centers, which will fund Briggs High School's PhotoVoice Project and provide support to the school based health centers - the only facilities that provide free medical and mental health services to Norwalk's three high schools.
"We really like to fund programs that invite young people as partners, to come to the table, to talk about their lived experiences, their challenges, their problems, instead of having the adults leave and fix the problem for them, to invite the young people into that process," said Weldon.
The Perrin Family Foundation has been providing funding to the health centers for almost 13 years.
"The beauty of a model such as a school based health center is that we're on site where the students are, when the students are there and we're able to treat them and get them back into class," said Rhonda Capuano, program director at the human services council Dr. Robert E. Appleby school based health centers.
Each year the Health Centers program reaches about half of the 2,000 students enrolled, like former Briggs graduate and young mother Tanasia Ticking.
"I had to chose between keeping my child or maybe a possibility of an abortion, and that's very personal," said Ticking.
The grant has involved students like Ticking in the Photo Voice Project enabling them shed light through photography on the hazardous conditions within their community.
"I started taking pictures of my community," said Ticking. "It had a lot of graffiti, it was drug-affiliated. There was a lot of bad stuff around the place where I lived and people from the community weren't even aware of it."
Ticking is currently a student at Norwalk Community College and the Photo Voice Project youth facilitator.