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!
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!
The mini grant allowed me to get my “back of store” in order, which includes signing up for and using a new streamlined sales funnel/project creator (HoneyBook), which has made the proposal, contact, and payment progress 1000x smoother. This also makes my business, SPARC Guidance, more professional and helped me establish contracts for trainings/coaching sessions with Early Head Start via the Early Learning Coalition. I am also now able to offer family coaching sessions and I hope to expand SPARC to the School District next.
With the funds that I was able to receive from the mini grant, I purchased some resistance bands to use with my online Zoom class because of the whole pandemic restrictions at the time. The bands that I had left over, I was actually able to use those and give them to the ladies that were present in a fitness class that I was able to co-teach at a dance studio that’s located in Riviera Beach. I started attending there a couple of months ago, just to network with other women, to put myself more out there, let people know what it is that I do, so when I do have upcoming events, people already have a sense of who I am and what I am all about. So, I was able to give the ladies the bands that were not used for the class and it was an awesome time.
While personally experiencing the disconnect from family, friends, community and church, I often thought about our Seniors and what they might be going through due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Distancing. In discussing this with others and realizing some Seniors are further restricted by vision, hearing and mobility impairments we felt the need was urgent. So we sought to find a solution to this issue and to help our most precious citizens cope during this time to avoid isolation and loneliness thereby avoiding negative effects on their mental and social wellbeing. As we investigated possible solutions, we discovered voice activated technical devices suitable for Seniors. Our next challenge was funding these devices. Thankfully, the Be Well Palm Beach County Mini Grant opportunity was introduced to us. We applied and were awarded the Grant. As of today, we have helped 16 Seniors CONNECT again!
Our grant award has helped dozens of low-income migrant women discover health and wellness programs that enrich their lives and alleviate stress. We are pleased to say that many of these mothers participate in our yoga, Zumba, and nutrition workshops with their spouses and children, and it has been amazing to see their growth so far.
The event that we hosted went well. We had great feedback on the topic about educated the community on sexual crime against children.
Hello, I’d like to update you about the Youth Hydroponic Farming and Mentoring Project 2. On November 10, we kicked off where we held a mentoring session with youth at the Lindsay Davis Center, the youth empowerment program. We spoke about a wide range of topics ranging from healthy eating to food production , and also we went to address some issues going on during the pandemic right now. On November 17, we went outside and then we began to construct the hydroponic tank. It was very windy that day. We did not put any water in that tank and place the seeds in, which we will do next week. However, the youth were able to use some of their construction and engineering skills in building the tank. It was a great success. Next week, when we will add the water and plant the seeds. At that time, we will have the hydroponic tank all the way in motion and also, we will mentor with the youth just a little bit more. It has been a journey. 2020 has been different in the sense of the pandemic, and what we have noticed is it is hard to get youth in one place, maybe because of their own fear or their parents do not want them out at certain places. However, we are having participation, and that’s good, and all is well. I hope to have another update for you soon.
I had severe anxiety about the venue for the event. Renting a venue and also providing refreshments for a crowd of people can be difficult and very pricey. I listed the help of Kenya Chaney from Healthier Delray Beach, and she helped me get a meeting with the curator for the Arts Warehouse. To make a long story short, the meeting resulted in me getting the venue for free. Not only will it be for free, but I will also be allowed to keep the artowrk their for an entire month(May)
October 10 is World Mental Health Day each year and this year New Song Church hosted the first Mental Health & The Church Conference in partnership with Palm Beach Atlantic University School of Education & Behavioral Studies.New Song Church was proud to receive $2000 for the 2020 HN granting term. We used those funds as part of the Mental Health and the Church Virtual Conference which was held from 9-4 pm with an after party at 7:30 pm. The conference had 50 people registered (13 of those were youth). The goal of the conference was connecting spirituality and mental health care for diverse communities. This conference was unique in that it also included giving a scholarship of $1,000 to a local Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) Student studying Mental Health Counseling as well as 20 sessions of free counseling to community residents (Covered by the other $1000 from grant $1000). This year Valery Hildago was selected as the scholarship winner. She has a 4.0 GPA at PBA and is eager to support communities of color in mental health counseling. Coach Debbie serves as our Mental Health ministry Leader and coordinated the New Song Mental Health & The Church Conference to shine a light on soul care, resiliency, social justice, suicide prevention, youth services, eating disorders, human trafficking, and emotional health during COVID-19.Debbie leads our ministry where she presents Training & Professional Development opportunities for Churches and Counselors on building mental health awareness, provides low cost and free clinical counseling, navigation and/or referrals services to the community, and lastly, provides support groups such as our YouMoms partnership or Substance Abuse partnership. YouMoms helps mentor teen moms and the substance abuse partnership partners professional men to mentor young men in recovery. The HN grant funds helped provide 20 free sessions to local women. To share a few of their stories within confidentially, one lost their son due to gun violence, one lost their job due to COVID, and one is a single mother who needs parenting coaching and counseling. We provided seamless access to care without a delay in time for service. Thank you HN for an incredible grant experience, your support helped us reach our goal to help the community improve behavioral health and wellness!