The Jaguars and the Jaguars Foundation in partnership with the National Football League are honored to announce the 2005 NFL/Jaguars Junior Community Quarterback Award winners. These six high school and college volunteers represent the spirit of excellence among our local youth, providing significant volunteer leadership in volunteer projects at local non-profit organizations. The NFL is donating $20,000 to be distributed among these organizations. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver will recognize the youth in a pre-game ceremony on the field at Alltel Stadium on December 11, 2005.
Congratulations to: Phylicea Williams, The Bridge of Northeast Florida; Fredrick Dorsey, Police Athletic League of Jacksonville; Adrienne C. Divertie, Jacksonville Chapter of Children's International Summer Villages Inc.; Peter Sleiman, The Sanctuary on 8th
Street; Elizabeth Ross, MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation; and Whitney Pritchard, City Rescue Mission.
The Community Quarterback Awards are part of the NFL's "Join the Team" initiative to promote volunteerism and community involvement. This year, each of the 32 NFL teams are recognizing local youth volunteer leadership.
The Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation supports programs for economically and socially disadvantaged youth and their families. The Foundation and the Jaguars Community Relations Department partner together with the NFL to select area students. A committee of community volunteers and Jaguars representatives determines the award winners.
A profile on each award winner and their respective volunteer project is provided below:
• Phylicea Williams, a member of The Bridge of Northeast Florida, co-organized fellow students in 2004 to preserve the Creative Arts Expression Program (C.A.R.E.) at an after-school program that had lost funding at Andrew Jackson High School. Phylicea had been participating since 9th grade. C.A.R.E. gives high school students who like writing and the arts the opportunity to be involved in creative after-school activities. After funding was cut in her Junior year, Phylicea and fellow students took on the challenge to find funding to continue C.A.R.E. Their efforts have included publishing two books of poetry which have sold at local bookstores, art sales, and a successful grant presentation to the Community Foundation. Through Phylicea and her fellow students' efforts, C.A.R.E. continues to serve high school students at The Bridge of Northeast Florida's Springfield Center.
• Frederick Dorsey, a junior at A. Phillip Randolph High School, volunteers 10 to 15 hours a week at the Police Athletic League of Jacksonville's Eastside PAL After-school Program, assisting with tutoring, educational support and recreational activities. Frederick's special gift is the ability to repair used bicycles which he then gives to under-privileged children at PAL. Three other volunteer teens help him. Frederick has even invented a custom made bicycle with extended forks built in a chopper style. His leadership, team spirit and willingness to give back to other youth are an inspiration.
• Adrienne Divertie has been President of the Junior Branch of the Jacksonville Chapter of Children's International Summer Villages, Inc. for two years, and leads projects to promote world peace and understanding of people's ethnic, religious and social differences. Projects of the 75 members include helping with the FACES of Jacksonville Camp to highlight the local ethnic village, mini-camps to deal with issues such as stereotypes, and Gulf Coast Relief project. She also spearheaded the CISV CARES campaign to raise money to help rebuild an elementary school in Indonesia that had been devastated by the Tsunami.
• Peter Sleiman, a starter on the Bolles basketball team, answered a need that his Mom, a board member at the Sanctuary on 8th Street, told him about for a basketball team for youth in the Sanctuary's after-school and summer program in Springfield. Although only 16 at the time, Peter earned the respect of the youth and adults by his personal commitment and low-key, self effacing manner. The Sanctuary Saints, also known as the Hurricanes, are now in their second season under Peter's leadership. Whether they win or lose, they are all learning to enjoy the game, work hard, and expand their "world-view" through interaction with other youth and seeing other parts of greater Jacksonville.
• Elizabeth Ross began a volunteer program in 2003-04 with fellow Stanton College Preparatory School students to mentor and tutor children from neighboring MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation's After-school Program in Durkeeville. H.U.G.G.S. (Helping Unique Girls & Guys Succeed) originally started for girls, but quickly expanded to include boys. Through her leadership and determination, she successfully recruited 60 juniors and seniors to volunteer the first year, which had an incredible impact on both the mentees and the high school students. Though Liz is now in college at the University of Florida, the legacy she began continues to grow. This year (05-06), there are 90 volunteers that each come one day per week. A Mentor Planning Council at Stanton coordinates the program and raises money to help support it.
• Whitney Pritchard led a group of about 20 FCCJ Kent Campus student volunteers to adopt the men's dorms at the City Rescue Mission's McDuff location. Whitney designed and implemented a project that involved the students along with some of the men at the Mission to clean, paint, redecorate and provide new furnishings in the men's dorms and also the living room, prayer room and dining room. This project, called "Extreme Makeover K-Style Project" is continuing and will include hallways, doors and outside grounds as well. The students have had fund-raising events, such as car washes and have put in their own money to help pay for the work being done, a big sacrifice since most are full-time students.