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Brazilian fundraiser helps at-risk youth find their way

DEL MAR — About 60 people from Del Mar to Los Angeles enjoyed Brazilian food, drinks, music and entertainment at the Powerhouse Community Center on July 2 to help send three at-risk area teenagers to volunteer in that South American country for two weeks this summer.
The event was hosted by Young Global Philanthropists, the fundraising committee of Karuna International, a nonprofit organization that promotes global awareness and international volunteerism among young adults.
Earlier this year, 12 students participated in an eight-week global education course. Based on an essay, an oral presentation and their global knowledge before and after taking the classes, three finalists were chosen for My First Passport, a service learning program that includes the eight-week course, two weeks of international volunteer service and a leadership committee that mentors youth.
Prior to July 2, Karuna International had raised funds to send two finalists abroad.
The goal of the Celebration of Brazil event, which included a silent auction featuring food, wine, beauty and vacation packages, was to raise the $4,500 to $5,000 needed to fund the trip for the third finalist.
The scholarships pay for airfare, passport and immunization fees, first aid supplies, a digital camera and a journal so the students can document their experiences. While in Brazil, the teenagers will be paired with local students to perform community service.
For more information or to make a donation, visit