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Carrollwood News

Tampa Bay Forward Thinking Initiatives candidate for award

Published:   |   Updated: January 7, 2014 at 01:56 PM

CARROLLWOOD — The Tampa Bay Forward Thinking Initiatives (FTI) program has made a major impact on the Tampa Bay area and now it has a chance to earn some credit for its cause.

FTI is a program that allows young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and learn how to make money at a young age. FTI includes entrepreneurial programs, camps where kids can learn the meaning of starting a business, and works with kids ages 6-12. Debra Campbell, president of FTI, runs the nonprofit organization.

WEDU public radio selected FTI as one of its six finalists for the 2014 WEDU Be More Knowledgeable Award. The event will be held Feb. 20 at the A La Carte Event Pavilion.

FTI is nominated for the award that recognizes the organization that, through a specific project, offered guidance, knowledge, emotional or physical support, as well as a mentorship program aimed at improving specific aspects of community life. Additionally, the project had to introduce and/or conduct programs to enrich and empower the community.

Debra Campbell, president of FTI and a Westchase resident, said that she is humbled to be selected as a finalist.

“I have always been looking to get us some recognition,” Campbell said. “We are up against some top-notch competition from all over Tampa Bay. Any one of the finalists can win.”

Additionall, FTI is about to launch its first Teen Entrepreneurship Academy in February in partnership with the St. Petersburg Greenhouse. The kick-off program will be ART-repreneurship, helping teens who want to become professionals in the creative arts such as acting, music, fine art, and dance.