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This Week in the Honor Rows

From Mentoring to Economics, Kids Gain Valuable Skills for Future Success

In the past three months, some youth from the organizations listed below were benefiting from quality relationships with their mentors and learning how to be young men and women of good character. Others were learning for the first time how to save and spend money responsibly. Still others were learning how to develop healthy relationships and avoid destructive ones. All youth involved in the Jaguars Foundation Honor Rows program also 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 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. Through the Sports Philanthropy Project, the Jaguars Foundation serves as a demonstration site for other sports leagues and franchises.

The following agencies are present at today's game:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of N. Florida (80 seats) – Youth and their mentors worked on community-based projects and benefited from quality time together. Youth also received tutoring in academic subjects.

Communities in Schools of Nassau County (80) – Middle and high school students at risk of dropping out improved their attendance and reduced their discipline referrals in order to earn their seat to Sunday's game.

Girls, Inc. (60) – Middle and high school-aged youth from local schools learned the basics of how to save and spend money responsibly through an economics fair that allowed them to open mock savings accounts.

The Children's Place (36) – Children and their mothers learned ways to avoid unhealthy relationships and developed action plans for self sufficiency.

Jewish Family & Community Services (85) – Youth participated in counseling sessions to build their self esteem and worked on family related issues.

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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