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This Week in the Honor Rows

200 youth and chaperones earn their seat to the HONOR ROWS

Honor Rows is a unique program that empowers disadvantaged youth to reach beyond their challenging circumstances. Roughly 200 youth and their mentors/chaperones 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, 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 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 will be present for Sunday's game:

Families First (50 seats) – youth and their parents read several books together during the summer months to improve their literacy skills.

FreshMinistries / Monique Burr Fndn. (60) – middle schoolers participated in various enrichment and community service opportunities. They also learned about the benefits of higher education and the sciences.

HabiJax (20) – youth wrote in their journals about the various sites they visited in order to learn how their actions impact their neighborhoods and community at large.

NE FL Community Action Agency (75) – teens participated in conflict resolution workshops including a teen council that taught them communication and leadership skills.

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