This story originally appeared in the November 2023 edition of the Boca Raton Observer.
Danita R. DeHaney is President & CEO of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, a not-for-profit organization that has been leading philanthropy locally for over five decades to keep our area safer, healthier and prosperous for all.
“We live in an area of great wealth and great need,” says DeHaney, a Boca Raton resident. “As our corner of paradise grows, the Community Foundation is here to stay ahead of the social and civic challenges that affect us all. It is an honor to connect donors to the thousands of trusted organizations working on everything from hunger to housing because we see every day how our grants and scholarships open doors to opportunity.”
Now in her third year at the helm, DeHaney has prioritized three key areas where the Community Foundation is making a difference today: access to higher education, early literacy and mental health.
For example, a third of students at Palm Beach County colleges and universities are the first in their families to attend college and need extra help to get to — and through — college; over half of our county’s third graders are not reading on grade level and need extra support to get on track; and the mental health crisis affects neighbors of all ages, particularly children post-pandemic who need high-quality care.
One way the Community Foundation is leading a response is through a mental health initiative for underserved children and teens. Thanks to a partnership between the Stoops Center for Communities, Families and Children at Florida State University and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, the initiative — dubbed “Rebound & Recovery” — has helped over 1,400 youth build resilience through cognitive-based therapy.
“Philanthropy has the power to solve chronic challenges in South County and everywhere else,” says DeHaney. “It’s my job — and my joy — to lead effective initiatives like Rebound & Recovery and inspire those with means to give where they live.”