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Hundreds of students celebrate school achievement at United Way recognition event

May 24, 2016

More than 900 students and their families enjoyed carnival fun and a barbecue dinner at United Way of Northeast Florida’s Achievers For Life Celebration Thursday, May 19, 5:30-8 p.m. at Adams-Jenkins Community Sports & Music Complex, Edward Waters College.

AFL Celebration
Hundreds of middle-school students and their family members celebrated a year of academic accomplishments at United Way of Northeast Florida’s Achievers For Life Celebration May 19 at Edward Waters College.

The annual event – which this year featured activities including a bounce house, tug of war, sack races, face painting and more – celebrated the 2015-2016 school-year accomplishments of United Way’s Achievers For Life middle-school students.

During the event, students were recognized for their A and A-B Honor Roll achievements. In addition, Eugene J. Butler Middle School was recognized for having the most participation at the event, and Ensante Manning, parent of Fort Caroline Middle School student Jacquez Manning, was named “Most Engaged Parent.”

United Way’s Achievers For Life initiative provides family support, mentors and help for middle-school students at school, as well as enhances parent engagement in students’ education. Achievers For Life partners include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida, Communities in Schools, Jewish Family and Community Services, and Duval County Public Schools.

“Achievers For Life truly makes a difference in students’ lives, from the smiles on their faces to accomplishments in the classroom,” said Phyllis Martin, head of community impact and strategic investments at United Way of Northeast Florida. “Our students are more likely to stay in school and perform well thanks to the dedication of our partners, mentors and staff.”

Middle-school students and families enjoyed a variety of activities – including tug of war, a bounce house, sack races and face painting – at United Way of Northeast Florida’s Achievers For Life Celebration May 19 at Edward Waters College.
Middle-school students and families enjoyed a variety of activities – including tug of war, a bounce house, sack races and face painting – at United Way of Northeast Florida’s Achievers For Life Celebration May 19 at Edward Waters College.

More than 60 United Way corporate and community volunteers and Achievers For Life mentors volunteered during the event to help make it a success. Chris Porter, First Coast News sports director, served as emcee for the evening, and Jacksonville Jaguar Rasheed Bailey and the Jacksonville Sharks Attack Dance Team were on hand to sign autographs and take photos with attendees.

Special thanks to our event sponsors: Aetna, Colomer, Voya and Publix.

For more information on United Way of Northeast Florida’s Achievers For Life initiative, visit unitedwaynefl.org/achievers-for-life.