Powerful Young Adults Inc., (P.Y.A.) is a community based 501( c ) 3 organization that was founded in August of 2005, in Clearwater, Florida, by Ozell George Jr., after seeing the struggles of his three daughters in the Pinellas County School System: The lack of tutoring assistance with FCAT, GED preparation, employment skills training, employment placement, outside activities, cultural events and opportunities. Mr. George realized that the services within the North Greenwood Community were limited and non existent. With this in mind he saw a need in the community that extended far beyond his families. Mr. George has not only dedicated his time, but 80% of this programs budget has been at his expense. The program is based in the North Greenwood Community, located in Clearwater Fl. Demographic data indicates that this community is more impoverished that the rest of the City of Clearwater. The risk relations between poverty and risk for children are well documented. Children from these communities have fewer opportunities and resources to participate in activities that promote their physical mental, emotional and career development. There is interesting evidence that girls are exposed to these risks as much as boys. In Pinellas County 75% of Black males don’t have a high school diploma, which makes up for the incarceration, unemployment and disability rates. For that reason, P.Y.A., has chosen to make at risk youth its target.
Powerful Young Adults Inc. was created to help school-aged and adolescents girls to make a successful transition from childhood to womanhood. Since the inception in August of 2005, we have presented 15 girls with Certificates of Completion from our program. All participants received high school diplomas and there were no unwanted teen pregnancies. In addition, we have had 65 girls in attendance to weekly roundtable discussions and seminars, which are conducted on Tuesday evenings at the Grace Lutheran Youth House, 1461 Joel Lane., Clearwater Florida,
The program is designed to:
. Encourage respect for others as well as themselves.
. Foster a spirit of family and community activism with the group.
. Stimulate awareness for the necessity of completing an education
. Assess the needs of each individual and help them set and meet goals
During the past 1.5 years of existence P.Y.A. Inc. has provided professional service to 65 youth in the North Greenwood Community. We have offered free one on one counseling training and awareness in the areas of: employment, computers, social behavior, and etiquette. Workshops were held on sexually transmitted disease awareness, breast cancer awareness, Black on Black crime, drug prevention, internet safety and pregnancy prevention, Our services include youth community job fairs, where local business professionals, such as judges, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, counselors and teachers held an open forum for youth in the community.
Our students have had the opportunity to travel to cultural events, social outings and educational experiences. One of our cultural events included a visit to the Zora Neal Hurston Festival in Orlando, Fl. Other social events included participating in the local parade. A few of our educational experiences included visiting local art galleries and businesses within Pinellas County.
In addition, in May of 2006, Powerful Young Adults Inc. made history by publishing the first student newsletter publication, in the North Greenwood Community entitled, “Royalty News.” This vocational and educational experience is a real outlet of expression for the youth in the community. The newsletter allows the students to educate their peers about sexually transmitted disease, teen pregnancy, history, fashion trends ,local news, scholarships and community service. Royalty News gives them an outlet to write about things that are important to them and the community in which they live. Our next edition will be published in August of 2007, at the begining of the new school year.