By The Jacksonville Free Press
To commemorate the successful 2019 program year, Fresh Futures held its Fifth Annual Awards and Appreciation Luncheon last weekend at the Beaver Street Enterprise Center. During the event, the 60+ participants were recognized for all of the incredible accomplishments and improvements they’ve made during the past year. Partners, program funders, volunteers, and facilitators were acknowledged for helping make the Fresh Futures Youth Program remain a success. “We look forward to continuing the program and proceeding to change the lives of our community’s youth for years to come,” said Omar Simmons, Director Fresh Futures Youth Program.
Fresh Futures Youth Program serves at-risk non-adjudicated youth and at-risk adjudicated youth through coordinated and specialized programs designed to meet the unique needs of each cohort.
The Fresh Futures Youth Program is a year-long program for Duval County high-school students, providing training in financial literacy, college readiness, job readiness, academic enrichment, health and wellness, family involvement, cultural outings, and leadership and character development. The program culminates with a summer internship experience for qualifying students. Students meet at least two Saturdays a month during the school year at the Weaver Center for Community Outreach.
During the summer, students who meet all program requirements qualify to be placed in paid six-week summer internships. During these internships, students have the opportunity to use skills learned during the Fresh Futures job readiness sessions, and they receive on-the-job training and feedback from their employers. The program typically serves more than 80 students a year. Due to limited space, enrollment is capped each year. Shown are the 2019 program graduates.
This article originally appeared in the Jacksonville Free Press.