First group of HONOR ROWS youth to cheer Jaguars to victory against Denver
2004 marks the 10th anniversary season of Jaguars football, AND of the Jaguars Foundation Honor Rows program, a unique program that empowers disadvantaged youth to reach beyond their challenging circumstances. Present for today's game against the Broncos are roughly 225 youth and their chaperones from the organizations listed below who are celebrating their accomplishments 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, attained personal goals, 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. The flexibility of the program allows nonprofit agencies to determine how best to use seats for their particular program.
This season, more than 3,500 seats have been awarded to 34 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. The United Way of NE Florida mobilizes game-day volunteers who ensure the safety and enjoyment of Honor Rows participants. The Jaguars Foundation received the 1996 and 2003 Governor's Community Investment Award for this program and, through the Sports Philanthropy Project, serves as a demonstration site for other sports leagues and franchises.
The following agencies are present for today's game:
Gateway Community Services (25 seats) – older teens participated in a structured behavioral level program to help them avoid illegal drugs and crime.
Habitat of Jax Beaches (37) – youth participated in a variety of structured activities designed to improve their reading/writing and basic computer skills.
Hollybrook Homes (60) – A family literacy program helped youth from this housing community to improve their reading/writing skills. Older students tutored younger ones as part of their community service project.
North Jacksonville Youth Development (75) –children and teens learned self defense techniques, basic computer skills, and cleaned local parks.
State Attorney's Office (30) – teen offenders participated in several crime prevention activities and learned to avoid unhealthy behaviors and situations.
For more information about The Foundation's Honor Rows Program or other Foundation initiatives, please contact Tarek Tabet at 633-6579.