Mike Pfeifer, founder of 1440 Film Co., launched his film production company in January 2019 with a mission: A percentage of the earnings from every client project would go toward a fund to be used to tell the story of one local nonprofit, at no charge.
1440’s Project GiveBack officially launched in July 2019, beginning its first search for a Delaware-based nonprofit to highlight.
On June 24, the first Project Giveback film was finally unveiled by its first recipient, TeenSHARP. The Delaware-headquartered nonprofit is an extracurricular college preparatory program that focuses on providing resources to low-income, Black and Latinx teens who want to attend top colleges, helping them get accepted, often with full scholarships.
“This was most important project I have ever done,” said Pfeifer, speaking at the virtual signing day event for this year’s graduates.
The four-minute film features four TeenSHARP students and family members as they opened their college admission decision letters (or received a decision call from admissions) for the first time. None of the students knew whether they were accepted or not.
More than 40 “TeenSHARPies” announced their college decisions during the virtual signing event, including Naheem, who had been labeled a “bad” student in school before starting the program and is now headed to Yale University on a full scholarship.
“My goal is to show what kids are capable of when they are given the resources,” said TeenSHARP founder Tatiana Poladko.
Other speakers at the virtual event included New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer, former Delaware governor Jack Markell, and Yahnee Acklin a graduate who started TeenSHARP in the fifth grade and is heading to her dream school, Carlton College in Minnesota, in the the fall. She will receive $70,000 in grants per year.
“Know that we believe in you, and if you believe in yourself, you’ll do great things,” said Markell, who added that after they complete their educations at their dream schools, “we hope you come back to Delaware.”-30-
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