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This Week in the Honor Rows

From Mentoring to Film Making, Kids Gain Valuable Skills for Future Success

While some youth were benefiting from quality relationships with their mentors and learning how to be young men and women of good character, others were getting a firsthand look at what it takes to be a film maker—from being a script writer to rehearsing lines as an actor to directing a short film. In addition, all youth involved in the Jaguars Foundation Honor Rows program improved their reading/writing skills.

Honor Rows is a unique program that empowers disadvantaged youth to reach beyond their challenging circumstances. These remarkable individuals are celebrating their accomplishments today because they earned their seat to the Honor Rows. Seated in the 300-level section of the North End Zone, boys and girls worked hard to improve their academic performance, engaged in positive behavior, and participated 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.

Honor Rows is an innovative program that uses seats at Jaguars home games as incentives for young people to set and achieve ambitious but realistic goals. Its flexibility allows nonprofit agencies to design their own unique program and to determine how best to use the seats to reward their participants.

This season, more than 3,500 seats have been awarded to 39 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. Yet, 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 and ALLTEL, with additional support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The United Way of NE Florida mobilizes game-day volunteers who ensure the safety and enjoyment of Honor Rows participants. Through the Sports Philanthropy Project, the Jaguars Foundation serves as a demonstration site for other sports leagues and franchises.

The following agencies are present today:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of N. Florida (45 seats) – youth and their mentors worked on community-based projects together and benefited from high quality relationships.

Community Connections of Jacksonville (182) – young children learned how to deal with anger, learned about the consequences of illegal drugs, and acquired various conflict resolution skills.

daniel, Inc. (67) – at-risk teens followed a behavioral modification program that enabled them to manage their behaviors and improve their academics.

YMCA of Baker County (20) – youth learned what it takes to be an actor or director and how to use various film making equipment to create a short film.

YMCA – Claude Yates Branch (40) – young children were mentored by staff and volunteers who helped them deal with challenging situations in their lives.

For more information about The Foundation's Honor Rows Program or other Foundation initiatives, please contact Tarek Tabet at 633-6579.

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