400 At-Risk Students Complete a Countywide Day of Service
Firewall Centers’ participants are given a hands-on opportunity to learn that serving is way of life at the 4th annual Serve-A-Thon
DAVIE, Fla. (Apr. 29th, 2017) – On Saturday, April 29th, Firewall Centers held its fourth annual Serve-A-Thon presented by SunTrust Bank, where over 400 Firewall students, their mentors, and volunteers engaged in six meaningful service projects throughout Broward County.
“It was an absolute honor and delight to serve alongside students in the Firewall program. The positive influence that Firewall is having in the lives of the students is life-changing. These students will certainly stay in school, graduate high school and move on to become successful servant leaders,” said JoAnne Daudt, Firewall Centers’ Board Member and founder and Estate Planning Attorney of JoAnne Larson Daudt, P.A.
Serve-A-Thon is a countywide day of service during which Firewall Centers partners with local nonprofits to teach Firewall students, who come from poverty and difficult circumstances, the value of serving and impacting the community.
SunTrust Bank was the presenting sponsor of the 4th Annual Serve-A-Thon and volunteers from SunTrust also served with the students. Other sponsors that helped make Serve-A-Thon possible included Guy Brickman of State Farm, Stonegate Bank, and Steel Fabricators, LLC. Community leaders from Leadership Broward Class of XXXV also came to volunteer with the Firewall students.
Upon arriving at their service sites, students enjoyed breakfast that was generously donated by Walmart. Firewall students from Western High School and Indian Ridge Middle School sorted through 19,367 lbs. of food which provided 16,139 meals for hungry families with Feeding South Florida. Students from Pompano Beach Middle School fed the homeless, packaged meals, and distributed clothes with Hope South Florida, a nonprofit that provides services to the homeless and hurting individuals and families.
A group from Bair Middle School cleaned and restored Snyder Park in Fort Lauderdale by removing over 500 pounds invasive species in the gardens, painting, and cleaning leaves and trash. Crystal Lake Middle School and Lauderhill 6-12 School helped restore the dunes and provide habitats for local animals at the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea beach by planting over 5,000 sea-oats with the Youth Environmental Alliance (YEA) through Hands On Broward.
Firewall students from Plantation High School sorted 3000 pounds of mixed electronics at ARC Tech, which provides job opportunities for young adult clients with autism and other developmental disabilities. Finally, Blanche Ely High School cleaned and organized Gilda’s Club South Florida, a community center that offers free programs for those who have been touched by cancer.
“By volunteering [at Gilda’s Club], Firewall Center students and mentors allowed our staff to perform the critical cancer support services needed, while volunteers gave every room in our facility a facelift. We are grateful for your leadership,” said Kim Praitano, CEO of Gilda’s Club South Florida.
Once the service projects were completed, all of the students and volunteers gathered at Snyder Park for a celebration that included lunch, music, and sports competitions.
About Firewall Centers
Firewall was established in 2003 in response to the death of a thirteen year old girl who overdosed on drugs while left unsupervised during after-school hours. Ever since, the agency has been operating daily after-school tutoring and mentoring centers for at-risk students that instill character values and promote academic success, supporting them as they strive toward their greatest potential. For the 2016/2017 school year, Firewall’s T.H.I.N.K. Leadership program has eight Centers and is serving 400 Broward county students. The program’s overarching objective is to improve performance outcomes among at-risk students as related to their school attendance, behavior, and course performance, thus helping them to ultimately achieve self-sufficiency as they pursue their life goals. You can learn more about Firewall Centers and how you can get involved at www.firewallcenters.org or follow them at www.facebook.com/firewallcenters