*For Immediate Release*
The JSD Foundation is pleased to partner with Families First for Mississippi to continue the mutual goals of Families First and our Foundation: to impact the whole family and to build communities.
“The JSD Foundation is pleased to partner with Families First for Mississippi to continue the mutual goals of Families First and our Foundation: to impact the whole family and to build communities” says Juanita Sims Doty. One of the major program initiatives of the JSD Foundation is the A-TEAAM: Ambassadors of the Evers Academy for African-American Males. The A-TEAAM is a leadership and character development program serving middle school males of color. In addition to the mentoring program for the young males, family engagement is an integral part of this initiative. Each Ambassador pledges to honor the life and live the legacy of slain civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, as he is mentored in one-on one, group and peer settings by a “village” of 1-2 mentors. Over the past 5 years, mentors have been provided for over 500 males.
The collaboration between the Juanita Sims Doty Foundation (JSDF) and the Medgar & Myrlie Evers Institute impacts the Ambassadors by enabling them to create a parallel with historical references and their lived experiences to better understand, change, and promote positive behavior and personal development. The A-TEAAM inspires these young males to write their own narratives and overcome inevitable challenges.
Karla McCullough, Executive Director of the JSD Foundation, who also manages the evaluation of the program is excited about this partnership. Karla says….”Through the collaboration with Families First for Mississippi, the JSD Foundation has been able to develop an on-line database that provides further evidence of the program’s impact based on evaluation measures completed by the Ambassadors, mentors, parents and teachers. This evidence helps to document the success of the program.”
The JSD Foundation also works in collaboration with Mr. Charlie Smith, Community Liaison for Families First. Through this partnership, this team has been able to train Resource Center Directors and Community Liaisons to work more effectively with community partners, utilizing what Charlie calls the “4-C Approach”: Community Engagement, Collaboration, Capacity and Culture.
In addition to working with Families First with the Community Coalitions, Juanita and Karla have also enjoyed working with Families First on implementing Sports Camps in Canton, Yazoo City and at Jackson State University. They have enjoyed assisting Families First in connecting with the Faith-based community across the state of Mississippi.
As Juanita continues to say….”It was surely through Divine intervention that this partnership was developed.”