She chose the latter and, along with a friend, started Generation Outreach (or Team G.O.) a nonprofit organization that focuses on improving the lives of underprivileged individuals in the community. Team G.O., which finances its efforts through fundraisers and community events, consists of youth volunteers all under the age of 25.
Based in Zena’s hometown of Miami, Florida, Team G.O.’s efforts are already visible in Orlando, Miami, and Atlanta in less than a year of operation. Team G.O. works with local organizations to identify social issues in the community and how to solve them. “[We] can no longer just see underprivileged individuals and just give them money or things of that nature, ” Zena explained, “[we] need to take a more hands on approach.” And hands-on, she did.
One of Team G.O.’s first projects was “When I Grow Up,” a program designed to provide school uniforms and supplies to select elementary school students in the Miami-Dade school district, who could not afford them. To fund these efforts, Zena and Team G.O. produced a community talent showcase to raise awareness and funds. But despite their best intentions, Team G.O. wasn’t always received well. Continue reading