Skip to content

Main Menu

Emma Bittar To Receive Youth Spirit Award for Philanthropic Contributions to Teen Health

Emma Bittar

Every year we celebrate a young person who has made incredible contributions to our community through philanthropy. Emma Bittar will receive the Youth Spirit Award at the 2020 Spirit of Manatee Awards Luncheon.

Emma donates money, tireless energy, and talent to ensure that Manatee County youth can lead their healthiest possible lives. As the Lead Youth Health Advocate in Healthy Teens Coalition of Manatee County’s Teen Health Educator program, Emma serves as a poised and vocal spokesperson to educate potential funders, government officials, and anyone who will listen.

Emma advocates directly for Healthy Teens Coalition to promote youth health and to secure funding for youth drug prevention and mental health. People positively respond to the impassioned pleas that this impressive young leader makes. She started her philanthropic work as a high school freshman when she authored a $3,000 grant on bullying prevention. The impact that she has made on the health and well-being of youth has been monumental through her advocacy, volunteerism, and success gaining government funding through the Manatee County Commission and with private funders.

She writes impactful letters of support, gives heartfelt and compelling testimony on the critical needs of youth, and has become a respected voice with adult leaders throughout our community and at the state and national level. Emma was a featured speaker at three different statewide conferences in the last year.

In 2019, Emma was chosen as the sole student representative in the nation to advocate with members of the US Congress in Washington for the federal health and human services funding to prevent sexually transmitted illnesses in youth. She was also appointed as the only student in Florida to serve on the statewide Florida Department of Education’s Family Life and Disease Prevention Committee.

The Youth Spirit Award is awarded to a person under the age of 21 who demonstrates an exceptional commitment to the charitable community by direct philanthropic support and by contributing time and energy to a fundraising effort. By example, she encourages and motivates other to make contributions to a charitable cause in Manatee County.