More than 500 youth and chaperones from the organizations listed below were involved in both mentoring and after-school tutoring programs that helped them earn their seats to the Honor Rows.
Seated in the 300-level section of the North End Zone, these boys and girls earned their seat to this week's game by improving their academic skills, engaging in positive behavior, and participating in a variety of community service projects. In addition, all youth made and kept a "tobacco, alcohol and drug-free" pledge with support from their parents and mentors.
Note that at the end of the first quarter, Delores and Wayne Weaver will wave in congratulations to the youth and their agencies for persevering and earning their seat to today's game. Please join the Weavers and other fans in The Wave.
Now in its eighth year, Honor Rows is a unique program that uses seats at Jaguars home games as incentives for young people to set and achieve ambitious but realistic goals. Specific goals vary across participating agencies, but all goals include three components: Academic achievement, behavioral improvement and public service.
The flexibility of the program allows agencies to determine how best to use seats for their particular program.
In 2002, more than 4,000 seats have been awarded to 40 agencies with multiple programs. Each Honor Rows participant receives a special T-shirt, hat, free meal, certificate of achievement and recognition at the stadium during the game. But, the rewards of the Honor Rows program go far beyond the earned seats. The personal goals and skills each youth attains have a long-lasting impact on their future.
Honor Rows was instituted in 1995 during the Jacksonville Jaguars inaugural season, "The Season of Firsts." The Jaguars Foundation is sponsored by Reebok, with additional support by ALLTEL and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The United Way of Northeast Florida mobilizes game-day volunteers who ensure the safety and enjoyment of Honor Rows participants. The Jaguars Foundation received the 1996 Governor's Community Investment Award for this program and, through the Sports Philanthropy Project, the Foundation serves as a demonstration site for other sports leagues and franchises.
The following agencies are present for this week's Honor Rows game:
Big Brothers Big Sisters of N. Florida – 80 (seats)
Boys & Girls Club of NE Florida – 105
Community Connections of Jacksonville – 200
NE Florida Community Action Agency – 60
Claude Yates YMCA – 60