Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation has received a Bronze Award in the Public Policy Campaigns category in the Council on Foundation's "2005 Wilmer Shields Rich Awards for Excellence in Communications." The Jaguars Foundation received the award for its television youth forum, "Teens and Sex…The Real Truth," a primary component of their Straight Talk™ teen pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections prevention program. Sponsored by the Council on Foundations, the awards program recognizes effective communications efforts to increase public awareness of foundations and corporate giving programs. The work submitted by Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation demonstrates its commitment to public accountability and effective communications and serves as a model of excellence for other grantmakers. The significance of this project is that it demonstrates how a high profile corporation, in this case, an NFL franchise team, can through its Foundation, leverage significant resources and media involvement to engage the community in an important, even controversial, community issue.
Straight Talk is a unique partnership with local media and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida to help prevent teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. Under the leadership of Foundation Chair and CEO, and Jaguars owner, Delores Barr Weaver; WJXT-4, WJCT-7, WTLV-12, WJWB-17, WJXX-25, WAWS-30, WTEV-47, Comcast Cable, Cox Radio (WAPE, 95.1), The Florida Times-Union / Jacksonville.com, Clear Channel Radio (WJBT, 92.7), Clear Channel Outdoor, and PRI Productions collaborate to produce an annual prime time television town hall forum, "Teens & Sex…the Real Truth." The show offers candid information on teens and sex and the consequences faced by sexually active teenagers.
Broadcast each May; the is hosted by local broadcast celebrity Jennifer Candelino and features Jaguars players, The ROAR cheerleaders, radio personalities a panel of experts, guest testimonials, a middle school studio audience, and an exciting student PSA contest.
The Straight Talk program, in partnership with the Weaver Family Foundation, has also awarded more than one million dollars in grants to local programs specifically dealing with this issue. Currently Straight Talk funded programs include Time to be a Girl at the PACE Center for Girls, Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy at Girls Inc., Teen Theater at Planned Parenthood of NE Florida, and The Bridge Straight Talk Program at The Bridge of NE Florida.