On behalf of the State of Florida, State Senator Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) and State Representative Kimberly Daniels (D-Jacksonville) yesterday presented a $250,000 check to Eric K. Mann, president and CEO of YMCA of Florida’s First Coast, the YMCA’s Metropolitan Board of Directors and the YMCA’s Senior Leadership Team. During the 2018 Legislative Session, Senator Bean and Representative Daniels advocated together to help secure the $250,000 in state funding for teen programming at the James Weldon Johnson Family YMCA in Northwest Jacksonville.
“The YMCA is consistently a leader in advocating for Florida’s youth by providing programs that positively impact their lives and give them the opportunities needed to succeed,” said Senator Bean. “This funding will allow the YMCA to increase programming for at-risk adolescents in the most underserved areas of Jacksonville, which will truly change lives and benefit our entire community.”
“It was an honor working with Senator Bean on the Johnson Family YMCA appropriation,” said Representative Daniels. “This facility is strategically placed between Cleveland Arms and Washington Heights, which are high crime housing areas. The youth in these neighborhoods will benefit from the program expansion, and I am excited about what is ahead for our community.”
This state funding will allow the Johnson Family YMCA to launch new programming and grow programmatic opportunities for teens and pre-teens in Jacksonville’s most disadvantaged areas. The YMCA’s goal is to provide these at-risk youth with a safe space and constructive programming after school and during the summer. The Johnson YMCA will also use the funding to provide life skills training, job and career preparation, health education and summer employment opportunities for teens. These new programs will serve approximately 120 additional youth in the Jacksonville community.
“The new Teen and Pre-Teen Centers at the Johnson Family YMCA are an investment in our youth,” said Mann. “We are grateful that our state leaders understand the importance this funding will have in helping the Y ensure that every child has the opportunity to envision and pursue the best possible future.”
Senator Bean represents Senate District 4, which includes parts of Nassau and Duval Counties. He can be contacted in Tallahassee at (850) 487-5004 or in his District Office at (904) 757-5039.