Eckerd Connects, a national leader in workforce development, Job Corps, juvenile justice, and child welfare services, is celebrating two very deserving high school seniors who were selected by Clearwater For Youth to receive $5,000 Richard O. Jacobson Post-Secondary Scholarships, opening the door for them to pursue an education that seemed out of reach – until now.
Project Bridge, an Eckerd Connects program, aims to reduce unemployment for at-risk youth and improve their motivation for educational achievement. Davious Haywood and Nolvin Williams are proud participants. In providing transitional services to boys and girls ages 11-21 who are reintegrating to their home communities from juvenile justice residential commitment programs, Project Bridge allows mentoring, paired with vocational and educational services, to inspire clients towards all they can become.
Curtis Campogni, the Program Director, says:
“This grant has given two of our most deserving youth the opportunity to maximize their earning potential by instilling hope that they can do more than just ‘get by’ in life. Without it, neither one of these young men would have had the means to pursue their education.”
Davious Haywood has had missteps in his life, but he’s also done a lot right, gaining the attention of many within the juvenile justice system as an upstanding person who is headed in the right direction. In his application essay, Haywood wrote that he wanted to go back to school to pursue owning his own business as an electrician. He’s a leader and a star football player who is eager to have access to the education that his fast-food job didn’t pay enough to support.
Nolvin Williams hopes to set an example for his six younger siblings by going to college and creating positive change where he grew up. He wrote in his application: “I want the opportunity to experience life beyond just my neighborhood and learn to view (it) from a different perspective.” While he’s made many mistakes in his past, with each mistake came a lesson serving as a reminder of how far he has come in chasing success.
Thanks to the generosity of Clearwater For Youth, this important moment is another steppingstone on the young men’s path to outstanding futures. Clearwater For Youth (CFY) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with the mission of ensuring all children have access to youth sports in our community. CFY aims to elevate amateur athletics and extracurricular initiatives throughout Pinellas County. Since 1972, CFY has been dedicated to eliminating financial concerns by offering support through scholarships and grants to positive sports programs where young people from all backgrounds can play and learn together. For nearly 50 years, CFY is proud to help children reach their fullest potential through enriching and productive activities focused on the important life skills developed through athletics.