Honor Rows is a unique program that empowers disadvantaged youth to reach beyond their challenging circumstances. Roughly 360 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 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 will be present for Sunday's game:
Boys & Girls Club of Nassau County (54 seats) – students participated in journal writing exercises, received passing grades, and completed a required number of community service hours.
Children's Home Society (75) – At-risk foster care youth in both campus and community residential settings earned their seat by maintaining their residential placements and avoiding destructive behaviors.
Clay County Behavioral Health Center (30) – middle school students attended voluntary group counseling sessions to develop skills that will help them avoid the use of illegal drugs and alcohol.
Communities in Schools of Nassau County (60) – 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.
Guardian of Dreams (145) – student from St. Pius and Holy Rosary schools were challenged by their teachers and parents to excel in school by turning in homework on time, completing both individual and group service projects, and demonstrating exemplary class attendance.
For more information about The Foundation's Honor Rows Program or other Foundation initiatives, please contact Tarek Tabet at 633-6579 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.