AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT)-Thursday morning United Way Hosted their “Teens Gather to Live United” event.

The event was held at the Amarillo Civic Center Grand Plaza and was meant to help students learn about the needs of their community and how they can make a difference.

“Teens Gather to Live United” serves as a pep rally that allows students to showcase their hard work, hear from a motivational speaker and participate in hands on volunteer opportunities where they built bikes for elementary students and wrote encouraging cards for veterans, senior citizens, and first-year college students.

“Our youth are an untapped resource, they’re our leaders of tomorrow, said the CEO of United Way Amarillo and Canyon.” Projects that our youth can accomplish in their energy is just a fantastic opportunity to show them the power that they have as they’re growing in their age and maturity.”

During the event students heard from motivational speaker Melodie Graves, her message to students was to find their purpose and what motivates them.

“Reminding them about the purpose that despite everything purpose needs to drive them to greatness, said Melodie Graves, Community Advocate.” I want them to remember that no matter where they are, they can leave from where they are and they are the ones that get to determine where their purpose is and once, they determine that the sky’s the limit.”

The kits that were made will go to families that are currently fighting homelessness. Amarillo, Canyon, and Bushland Independent School Districts brought busloads of students to participate in today’s event.

“It’s very intriguing to me to hear what’s going on in the community to recognize so many things you just you just don’t know exists, stated Max Engelvrecht, Ascension Academy student. “It’s so interesting to be part of the solution as well because you’re working proactively to help benefit other people.”

The students built over 40 bicycles for area elementary students. During the Pep Rally students also heard from Dr.Russell Lowrey-Hart and Sonja Clark, as well as interacted with local community programs.

Last year Youth Cabinet was able to help raise over $78,000. The students also researched various grants and allocated the money to local organizations.

“With the youth cabinet we will continue to coordinate fundraisers throughout our schools, said Maison Guerra Senior at Canyon High School and Youth Cabinet Member. “We can allocate funds to charities within the area that need money and last year, we set a record number and we were able to give everyone that applied for a scholarship, and we are hoping to do that again this year.”

Allocations from this year’s campaign will be announced in spring 2023.