Wawa Names Foundation Hero Award Winner

The Philadelphia Fire/EMS Explorer Career Youth Development Program will receive $50,000.

July 10, 2024

The Wawa Foundation awarded its Wawa Foundation Hero Award last week, granting $50,000 to the Philadelphia Fire/EMS Explorer Career Youth Development Program. The award was presented during Wawa Welcome America festival in Philadelphia on July 4.

The organization was chosen as the winning recipient following a public vote among four finalists.

“The Wawa Foundation Hero Award is an honor given to a non-profit organization serving the greater Philadelphia area that assists others and builds stronger communities through preserving our independence, protecting our safety, and mentoring and inspiring our youth,” said the retailer.

The winning PFD Fire/EMS Explorer program “serves over 100 young adults from all socioeconomic backgrounds across the city who have experienced firsthand response efforts to various emergency response operations. Over 400 program alumni explorers have been enabled with general knowledge of emergency response operations, fire science/suppression, first aid and CPR, mass casualty, stop the bleed and trauma response. The program’s vision is to help bridge the communication gap of delivering public safety messages of prevention and preparedness. Explorers relate to the ever-changing environments challenging our communities, and become the agents capable of building stronger ones,” according to a press release from The Wawa Foundation.

The other finalists, which each received $10,000 grants, included:

  • As I Plant This Seed: “As I Plant This Seed promotes the positive development and advancement of urban youth through intergenerational access to education, information, and training in a safe space. Following completed enhancements to the space earlier in 2024, the organization continues to grow its 12-year history of giving local teens programs designed to help each kid reach their full potential.”
  • Leveling the Playing Field: “LPF provides free sports equipment to schools, rec centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, and other youth programs in the Philadelphia area. In 2023, LFP distributed nearly $1M in gear to 262 under-resourced schools and youth programs, enabling thousands of kids to learn, grow, and have fun through physical recreation.”
  • Project 440: “Project 440 provides free after-school music-based programs for Philadelphia high school students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, gain proficiencies in leadership and service, and learn about opportunities for their next steps.”