Grant Impact Who: Youth Development

AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization)…

AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) As a recipient of Healthier Jupiter’s first mini grant, we are happy to share our story of success. Within our “Charter Neighborhoods” there was, and is, a need for an opportunity for the youth to come together and play; Soccer was the preferred sport. I applied to AYSO to open a region in Jupiter. When the request was approved, we began playing soccer at the Jupiter Elementary School field on weekends. In the second year of play, HJ awarded AYSO Region 1639 a mini grant of $2500 for continuation of our soccer program with an emphasis on improving health among the mothers of the players. For 10 weeks we used the track at the school as a Walk/Run contest, the mothers improved their health and won Publix gift cards and had a great time! As our season came to a close, the families were treated to an evening of fun, food, and education at the Jupiter High School cafeteria. The JHS chefs prepared a typical Mayan dinner, with a healthy twist. Kathleen Waddell arranged for a Spanish-speaking educational speaker who gave us tips on improving our nutrition and provided a better understanding of the detriments of poor nutrition on the lives of our families. Our local marimba band played music while we all danced. HJ’s interest in us helped solidify our program in its second year. This soccer program, by the grace of God, continues to provide exercise opportunities to low income, high risk youth. Thank you for your part in this. As the years go on, some of our players have been invited to participate in the JTAA and Jupiter United programs where they make significant contributions to the success of Jupiter teams. Go Healthier Jupiter!

The Healthier Jupiter Mini-Grant…

The Healthier Jupiter Mini-Grant served as a catalyst for our organization to bring the benefits of boxing – exercise, discipline, and fun – to young students throughout the Jupiter area. The boxing program brought together students from all walks of life. The best part was seeing students laugh and learn lessons that they will be able to take with them for the rest of their lives. I believe I speak for other volunteers and coaches when I say it is incredibly rewarding to see a student experience a light bulb moment when they see how they can apply lessons learned through sports and apply those lessons to their daily lives.

This mini grant was liberating…

This mini grant was liberating and allowed me to make an impact in a creative way. I had a vision of empowering youth all over the County by shifting mindsets. This vision is not just about planting seeds of purpose, leadership, financial know how, and the like–it is about uprooting generational seeds of poverty and lack. This Future Leaders course is designed to deposit seeds of abundance and to tap into a curiosity about themselves and the world, which may not have existed before. I have had the freedom to invite keynote speakers who are passionate about a topical area that could speak into the lives of young people. So far, the workshop on discovering your purpose really had the youth engaged and questioning their individual purpose in a safe and reflective setting. The class on microaggressions and racial equity stirred up a lot of passion and shared experiences. The group was most quiet while they created their personalized vision boards using the canva software and many spoke in a group setting full of strangers for the first time during our public speaking course. Although the course isn’t over, (our graduation ceremony will be in July), watching the youth ask questions, get engaged and go through this stretching process called growth, has been amazing!

South Grade Elementary is a…

South Grade Elementary is a Title I school, where 99% of our students are economically disadvantaged and 97% of our population are minority students, most of which are recent immigrants to the US. We recently became an AVID school, which focuses on college and career readiness from a young age. South Grade Elementary School was the recipient of a mini-grant from Healthier Lake Worth; the grant was in support our 4th and 5th grade Avid students obtaining a shirt that promote college readiness. On February 25th we had a grand revealing of the shirt, that was designed in-house. It was a beautiful sight to see our students proudly wearing their “Straight out of Avid, Straight into College” shirt. Every Thursday is Avid day and we wear our Avid shirt. The shirt is a constant reminder to our students that they have the potential to be great and to achieve great things.

In my mini grant experience…

In my mini grant experience it has beyond awesome! My first experience was involving the youth! I was to teach the kids about photography! We went out into the Glades and we share and compare personal feelings to the photos that were taken! We discussed how a picture has so many different meanings it was all about how you were able to look at it. I was able to give them a real hands on experience before COVID! My current mini grant has to do with getting back to basics! We are actually in process of building a garden retreat! Between planting and growing and teaching the youth in the same manner it helps them to appreciate the skills and value of bringing something to life and watching it grow! Also in the garden we have a buddy bench, to where your able to go and sit when it’s been a long day and you just need someone to talk to! Its so much more but I will rather wait until we reveal it!

My experience of this mini-grant….

My experience of this mini-grant was one where the kids that attended the Theater Appreciation/Monologue Acting Workshop were free to express themselves in their own, unique way. They expressed what they wanted to get out of the workshop, what they came to work on, and what their biggest “take-aways” at the end of the 2-hour workshop. I experienced them experiencing connection with everyone there, a safe and sacred space, creating value through creative self-expression, exploring their passions, and building their experience/expertise and knowledge around that workshop’s topics. We could’ve stayed longer than the 2 hour-window we had set and scheduled for this specific workshop! The participants/kids attending had shown real potential and talent in their self-chosen monologue acting, expressed their gratitude for the workshop and those other participants/kids around them in the workshop as well as myself leading it, and really impressed the adults there including myself with what words they used when sharing from their hearts all the way down to their performances at the end. They exhibited diversity amongst themselves with very different, relatable monologues that resonated with them and performed in their own, beautiful ways often using the word “dynamic” in what they wanted to work on and accomplish in the workshop. Hearing them share what value they created in those 2 hours warmed my heart. I see bright futures for these young actors and would love to do something like this again as soon as possible! The value in building confidence in these kids and connecting with them truly is priceless.

We have completed three courses…

We have completed three courses so far for our future leaders primarily for high schoolers in PBC. So far the theme has been on leadership development in which the courses focused on discovering your purpose, goal setting through vision boards, and tonight on public speaking. Every class has a keynote speaker who is a subject matter expert and each one so far as imparted seeds of knowledge, discovery and engagement. In many of the surveys so far, the youth have expressed that they never really thought about their purpose or that they didn’t know that every person on this planet was born with a purpose. A few of the youth shared their vision boards with me which is such a blessing. It shows how many goals some have and others are going through a discovery process of asking themselves about their goals–perhaps something they never really thought about let alone putting thoughts on virtual paper/canva LOL. Tonight, we had about 25 participants and ten of the youth participated in “table topics,” an opportunity to practice impromptu speaking on a host of topics that were age appropriate. One of the girls said that she never would have thought that she would share in a group setting and she wasn’t sure “how we did it.” What she was really saying was how did she get the courage to talk in front of people, even if by Zoom. These may seem like small wins but they’re huge to me. The next session will be on microaggressions and racial equity awareness. In March and April, the focus will be on financial awareness and in May and June, we will shift the focus to job preparedness. I may shift and provide courses outside this curriculum by partnering with another agency to discuss college preparedness. I love that I can be nimble and adjust to the needs of the students without heavy bureaucracy and red tape. Thank you BeWell PBC! I believe the impact to the youth is great and I can’t wait to see how their lives will be impacted by the time the Future Leaders graduation comes around in July.

Behave Healthy Riviera Beach will…

Behave Healthy Riviera Beach will focus on teaching school aged children the benefits of healthy eating and making healthy decisions. This program is an community initiative created by Smoothie Me Please, a local smoothie bar in Riviera Beach. Students will be able to virtually attend live workshops and cooking classes. The classes will explore how to wash and prep/cut fruits and vegetables. The students will be empowered to make their own smoothie meal prep kits for themselves and the family.

I’m so excited to announce that…

I’m so excited to announce that Cooking With Ms. Shavon is no longer just an idea, it is a business!!!!! I’m currently working obtaining my business licensing and remarketing due to Covid19. Thank you, HN for believing in me and my business!