February Newsletter 2020

AmeriCorps Training

We are happy that so many college and post college students want to be a part of what we’re doing to help transform students into servant leaders. With that being said, we want our AmeriCorps mentors to be prepared to enter the schools that they will be serving. In January, we had an AmeriCorps training with a special guest from the United Way of Broward, Aisha McDonald. She spoke on mental health and the importance of truly understanding what that means.



Serving the Seniors

An estimated 60% of residents in nursing homes never have a single visitor and spend weekends, birthdays, and even holidays by themselves. How can Firewall make a positive impact on changing this reality? Students who are a part of Firewall had their first opportunity of the new year to serve our local senior community by visiting Artis Senior Living of Davie.



Mentor Recruitment

AmeriCorps Firewall mentors are vital to the work that we do. We currently have 60+ mentors serving at our different centers and will need even more for next year. Recruitment for mentors will begin in the next few months. If you are a college or post college student who has ever had an interest in becoming a Firewall mentor or know someone who might, consider applying this year.

December Newsletter 2019

Thanksgiving Has Been Served

When you think of Thanksgiving most think of a relaxed, fulfilling time with family and friends. Our biggest problems are usually debating between leftover turkey sandwiches or eating another slice of pumpkin pie. It’s almost too easy to enjoy our time and never stop to think of those who may need help during this Holiday season, yet more than 1 in 5 families across the country and over 260,000 individuals in Broward County are unable to provide themselves with a meal that many of us may end up taking for granted.



We Couldn’t Have Done it Without You

Giving Tuesday was a great success for Firewall Centers with generous donors offering to match dollar for dollar your end of the year donations. We are thankful for all your support!

With the end of the year approaching quickly, there is still time for you to double your impact by participating in our matching challenge. From now until December 31st, every dollar given to Firewall will be doubled.



Volunteer With Us

Volunteers have a great opportunity to read one-on-one with students providing individual support and acting as a positive role model to our students! If you are interested in volunteering with Firewall Centers please apply on our website!



Last Chance

We are approaching the end of our raffle! If you would like to enter for a chance to win a gift card to Xtreme Action Park, sign up at the link below. We are looking forward to announcing who the winner of the raffle is on Friday, December 13th!

November Newsletter 2019

Mentoring Matters!

Firewall Family, meet Nick. Nick is one of our Americorps mentors and has been working at Plantation High School for over a year. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2018 and is currently applying to Medical School to pursue his dream of becoming a Pediatrician.

One of Nick’s students is Abdullah. Abdullah has been in Firewall for the past five years. He has always been a bright student who has put a lot of effort into his academics. This year we started doing career planning sessions with our high school students and these have made a huge difference for Abdullah in planning for his future career.



November is Philanthropy Month!

This month, Joanne Daudt, Firewall Board member, and an attorney who has worked within the philanthropic community assisting both charities and individual donors shares about how you can give wisely this holiday season.

“One vehicle of giving that is not often utilized in gift consideration is the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) rollover at the year’s end. With so many changes in tax policy since the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act, it might be of interest to you as a supporter of a 501(c)(3) charity such as Firewall Centers to review how an IRA can be mutually beneficial for both your 2019 legacy efforts and for Firewall”.



Giving Tuesday

Save the date! #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. On Tuesday, December 3rd, take part in a global day of giving by donating online and sharing about Firewall Centers on your social media.

We want to hear from you!

We value all the feedback that our Firewall family is able to give. Fill out the survey and you will be entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card to Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale. This location features a massive Go-Kart track, bowling lanes, food, and games.

January Newsletter 2020

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

This year, one of our board members, Aaron McKee, and his wife Toni, purchased board games for every one of our student’s at Walker Elementary School for Christmas.The need is great in the neighborhoods surrounding the school which is why Firewall chose to serve Walker and it’s students. In fact, the school is located in an area that has a higher rate of childhood poverty than almost 97% of U.S. neighborhoods, and many of these children attend Walker.



Exciting Collaboration in 2020

Firewall Centers strives to deepen its impact on families by working collaboratively with other organizations. Firewall and Harvest Drive have worked together over the last 7 years, gathering food for the families of many of our students. Harvest Drive strives to educate students on the issue of hunger in our community and empower them to take leadership roles in lessening hunger’s devastating impact. During the month of December, we sat down with them to discuss how we can grow our partnership in 2020.



Thankful for our Mentors

January is National Mentor Month! Firewall Centers wouldn’t be what it is today without the faithful mentors who show up day after day to serve our students. Our AmeriCorps Firewall mentors put their heart and soul into helping students achieve academic success, build character, and transform into servant leaders.

October Newsletter 2019

Hello from Firewall Centers!

Some of you may have noticed that Firewall Centers is sporting a brand new logo. It’s an exciting time —- and as we strive to reach more students across more schools, we want to continue to grow and improve as an organization.

So what’s changed?

You’ll see it’s not just our logo that is changing. We’ve changed our website, our social media, our messaging, and our colors to better reflect our mission of transforming students into servant leaders through academic support and character development.

We know that you will enjoy our new look as much as we do and continue to partner with us as we continue to #MakeADifference in the lives of students across South Florida.

STUDENT TO MENTOR: Why Mentoring Matters

Our Firewall Mentors are the core of what we do to transform students into servant leaders. Some of our best mentors are Firewall alumni. They are servant leaders and incredible role models for our students.

This year, we are excited to have a mentor who graduated from our Western High program, Zack Ortega. He has been a part of Firewall from the 7th grade through high school graduation.

Read more


We’re still recruiting college students and recent college grads to become AmeriCorps Firewall Mentors for the 2019-2020 school year! Perks include an education award to help pay for college and/or student loans, a bi-weekly living stipend, and leadership development!

Apply at http://2zm.dbb.myftpupload.com/apply

We are also looking for a full-time Elementary Program Director to join our team! Read more here.


August 2019 Newsletter

Firewall Opens Two Centers!

We are so excited to announce that we have successfully opened two new centers at Horizon and Flamingo Elementary. As Firewall continues to grow, so does the impact on our local community. We couldn’t have reached this point without the love and support from our Firewall Family, and we thank you!

Our work doesn’t stop here! As we continue developing our future doctors, lawyers, engineers, and servant leaders, we want you to be a part of the process. Firewall has open volunteer opportunities for anyone that is interested in making a difference. For more information, visit FirewallCenters.org/volunteer

We need your help!

Ms. Janeth has been nominated for the Local 10 Life Changer Award. This award recognizes a hometown hero who entered a person’s life at a pivotal point and made a significant impact.

Janeth is the Chief Program Director of Firewall and is responsible for managing and training more than 80 staff members. Through Janeth’s leadership, Firewall has grown from serving 40 students to more than 500 every day across nine public schools.

Help her win by voting every day until August 31st! You can vote here!

Thank you, Broward College!

We recently received a $2,500 sponsorship from Broward College for our High School Program. Firewall wishes to recognize their generous contribution and thank them for their continued support in helping us transform students into servant leaders.We are excited to continue to partner with them as they make a positive impact preparing students for successful futures.

We’re still hiring!

We’re still recruiting college students and recent college grads to become AmeriCorps Firewall Mentors for the 2019-2020 school year!

Perks include an education award to help pay for college and/or student loans, a bi-weekly living stipend, and leadership development!

Visit FirewallCenters.org/apply

Firewall Centers
13451 SW 7th PL  | Davie, Florida 33325
9545301871 | info@firewallcenters.org

July 2019 Newsletter

Though school is officially out for summer, Firewall’s work continues. This summer, we offered a six-week program in a mobile home park community in Davie. Our program focuses on preparing students for the upcoming school year and consists of leadership training, English-language exercises, and math review.

At Firewall, we pride ourselves on being a dynamic organization that tailors our approach to meet the individual needs of our students. For Juan and Miguel, two 7th graders that just moved here from Venezuela, learning English is a priority.

Instead of putting Juan and Miguel through our regular program, our mentors primarily focus on improving their English language skills. The boys take turns reading aloud and underlining words they don’t know. Later, they write the words on flashcards to practice with their Firewall Mentors.

 Firewall Mentor, Raevin, Juan, and Miguel

“By reading with my mentor, I’ve learned new vocabulary words and how to pronounce them. It’s good for me to learn English so I can meet new friends and feel more connected.” – Miguel

Children from lower-income homes can fall 2 to 3 months behind in their reading during the summer months, but Firewall students will enter the school year avoiding the learning loss that typically accompanies summer break. 

Because of your support, Juan and Miguel now have foundational English Language skills, which are critical for academic learning and social integration. Thank you for helping us make a difference in transforming lives.

School Supply Drive

Throughout the summer, we are collecting supplies for the upcoming school year!

Here’s a list of the most needed supplies for our students. We appreciate any support you can give. Simply purchase items and drop them by our office in Davie!

Looking for Firewall AmeriCorps Members

Do you know any college students or recent college graduates that would be great role models?

We are in need of Firewall AmeriCorps Members to work with our students from August 2019 to June 2020. Members receive a bi-weekly living stipend, a scholarship for college/student loans, and leadership experience. 

Please help us spread the word! If know anyone that is interested, they can apply at firewallcenters.org/apply

Firewall Centers provides daily, school-based tutoring and mentoring services designed to help students achieve academic success, build character, and transform into servant leaders. You can help support this transformation and give at firewallcenters.org/give

June 2019 Newsletter

Meet John, an AmeriCorps Firewall Mentor that worked daily with our Western High School students this past school year.

John graduated from Princeton University in 2018 and will attend Duke Law School in the fall to pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer.

He has always had a passion for helping others and serving the community, but it was Firewall’s mission that inspired John to apply and serve as a mentor.

“I was ecstatic about the opportunity to work with young people. High school students should be filled with hopefulness and optimism about the future. Unfortunately, many at-risk youth are shackled by low expectations and have a low opinion of their abilities. At Firewall, I saw firsthand the life-changing power of mentoring. We help students visualize themselves as the next doctors, lawyers, police officers, and mechanics by working with students to develop a concrete plan that make their dreams a realistic achievement,’ said John.

‘This made all the difference for Louie, a student who always dreamed of becoming a firefighter, but didn’t know how to actually make it happen. After we reviewed the basic requirements and charted a plan of action, Louie returned to school with a newfound commitment to his academics, now understanding that his GPA would affect his chances of becoming a firefighter.’

This summer, John will help update our High School program to ensure our students are best prepared to enter the workforce.

“Andy and the Firewall team are constantly looking to improve the program and the services we offer and I’m honored that he’s involved me in this process. I am confident that our evidence-based reforms will make a meaningful impact on our students’ lives.”

May 2019 Newsletter

Our Servant Leader Celebration hosted by Eric Yutzy was amazing!

Our keynote speaker, Anita Fain Taylor, shared with the students that “regardless of what job you are given, as small as it may seem, give it your all.”

We also recognized our graduating High School seniors, including Arnold, a Firewall student that has been with us since 6th grade!

Arnold received a four-year full ride scholarship to Dartmouth College, an Ivy League school. He will also be graduating in the top 10 of his class of over 700 students at Western High School!

He shared with tears in his eyes how grateful he was for his Firewall Mentors that supported him throughout Middle and High School.

“I won’t ever forget the times that my Firewall mentor, Taylor Grippo, spent talking with me about my goals and my grades. She has remained committed to my success since the instant that we met. During my ACT and SAT prep, during my college applications; She was always there.”

Arnold’s mother, Arnold, and Taylor Grippo, his previous Firewall Mentor

Thank you for your continued support during the school year and the years to come!

April 2019 Newsletter

Meet De’Andre, a Firewall student. De’Andre didn’t think he’d be able to graduate, but now he’s graduating a year early!

De’Andre started attending Firewall in 6th grade. Throughout Middle School and into 9th grade, he was unmotivated to do work and struggled in most of his classes. But Firewall’s long term mentoring and tutoring developed his confidence and maturity.

For De’Andre it all came together in 10th grade when he decided to become a firefighter. He started to work harder at his school work and began taking extra online classes.

Now in his junior year, because of his own determination and Firewall’s help, De’Andre will graduate this May, a year early!

“He is so polite and mature now. We wish him the best! He is a true example of the long term impact Firewall can have on students,” said Janeth Fernandez, Program Director.

Consider giving towards Firewall can continue to support students like De’Andre!