Press Releases

Press Releases

The latest news from the Urban League of Palm Beach County

For all press inquiries contact Kate Alvarado, Vice President of Development & Communication at 561.833.1461 ext 3002.

 

Urban League of Palm Beach County Places 9th at the 2016 Great Charity Challenge and receives a grant of $50,000

For event results visit: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/ceba0e9a11bc3b58203181b2d/files/2016_GCC_FINAL_STANDINGS_w_riders.pdf

Read all about this year’s event in The Palm Beach Post: http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/news/local/show-jumping-event-a-dream-come-true-for-local-cha/nqLJb/

STATEMENT: Patrick J. Franklin, President & CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County released the following statement today, Wednesday, October 21, 2015 regarding the Corey Jones Tragedy this past Sunday morning:

“The Urban League of Palm Beach County is asking for a thorough independent investigation that brings clarity and light to all the details surrounding the untimely death of Corey Jones. It is our hope that the investigation is both transparent and expedient in order to bring peace to the family and begin the healing process for our community. During this time, we ask that the community remain peaceful and offer their prayers and support to Corey’s family”.

Free workshop to educate Wellington residents on Sober Houses

The Village of Wellington will host a workshop to educate Wellington residents on Sober Houses and how they are impacted by the Fair Housing Act and local zoning regulations. The workshop will be held on Thursday June 25, 2015 from 6:00-8:00 pm in the Wellington Room at the Lake Wellington Professional Centre 12230 Forest Hill Boulevard Wellington , FL.

Representatives from the Urban League of Palm Beach County and the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County will present information on Sober Houses and how they are impacted by the Fair Housing Act of 1988 and local zoning regulations. Workshop attendees will be provided with the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists.

The workshop is free and is open to all residents of the Village of Wellington. Seating is limited so interested residents are encouraged to RSVP their attendance to Drekyra Collins at 561-833-1561 Ext. 3005.

Urban League of Palm Beach County is a HUD approved housing counseling agency and a 501(c)3 nonprofit serving all residents in Palm Beach County providing comprehensive housing counseling and financial education programs and services free of charge. For more information visit www.ULPBC.org or to make an appointment call 561.833.1461.

 

For information about other Wellington programs, events, activities, and updates, please visit www.wellingtonfl.gov or watch Channel 18 for the latest happenings.

41st Annual Equal Opportunity Day Luncheon raised over $100,000 to support the Urban League of Palm Beach County

 

Urban League of Palm Beach County held their 41st Annual Equal Opportunity Day Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, April 1st in West Palm Beach and raised over $100,000 to support its efforts to empower youth and families through economic, education and community empowerment programs.

This year’s gala honored the Lifetime Achievement of Beverly Elliott Morrison and James L. Davis who have dedicated their professional lives at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and personal endeavors to empower young people and create a stronger community. Both honorees have served in leadership roles on the ULPBC Board of Directors and worked with many local community, civic and professional organizations.

“This is an honored tradition in Palm Beach County that has recognized some of our most influential and important leaders such as Judge Edward Rodgers, Dr. Dennis Gallon and Robert M. Montgomery to name a few,” said sponsor Patrick J. Franklin, President and CEO. “Jim and Beverly have made significant contributions to youth in our community for decades and we are pleased recognize them for their stellar work. They embody the mission and vision of the Urban League movement”

The luncheon also recognizes the work and contributions of rising young leaders and this year honored Palm Beach Lakes senior and NULITER, Shelby Charles. In her acceptance speech she credited the Urban League and NULITES program for helping her reach her goals and for the years of mentorship by program coordinator Gloria Scott.

“It is important for us to recognize our young leaders as well as those who have dedicated their life’s work to furthering the mission of the Urban League,” said Franklin. “Shelby is the future of the Urban League, and we are so proud of her accomplishments as a member of NULITES.”

Marc H. Morial, National Urban League President and CEO addressed the audience of more than 450 local leaders and donors about the recent State of Black America report issued by the organization. As President and CEO of the National Urban League since 2003, he has been the primary catalyst for an era of change — a transformation for the 105-year old civil rights organization. .

Mr. Morial also shared details on the upcoming National Urban League Conference which will be held in Ft. Lauderdale in July.

 

Proceeds from the event will support the Urban League of Palm Beach County’s service to more than 17,000 clients in the community providing housing, jobs, education, youth development, community service and health programs.

The Awards Luncheon was sponsored NextEra Energy, JM Family Enterprises, Comcast, SunTrust, Valley National Bank, WPTV, Bank of America, The Palm Beach Post, Walgreens, Enterprise, 3rd Federal Bank and Comerica Bank.

For more information about the Urban League of Palm Beach County please visit www.ULPBC.org or call 561.833.1461 ext 3002.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  March 4, 2015

CONTACT: Cecka Rose Green, (850) 488-4197 or
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MORE FLORIDA HOMEOWNERS MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR FLORIDA HHF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Treasury approves criteria to expand unemployment/underemployment programs.

Tallahassee—Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) was recently notified that the United States Department of Treasury (Treasury) approved changes to the Florida Hardest-Hit Fund (HHF) unemployment programs that will result in more eligible homeowners qualifying for assistance. Beginning immediately, hardship criteria has been expanded to include situations where death, divorce or disability adversely affects the homeowner’s (or homeowners’) ability to pay their first mortgage.

The homeowner(s) must still meet other eligibility criteria to qualify for assistance. Program benefits, eligibility criteria and answers to frequently asked questions are available on the official website, at www.FLHardestHitHelp.org. Additionally, homeowners in Florida who have not previously applied for assistance may do so using this website.

Homeowners who previously applied for HHF program assistance, but were deemed ineligible at that time due to not having an eligible hardship—meaning the financial hardship occurred as a result of death, divorce or disability—may request their application be reconsidered by contacting the HHF Advisor Agency that initially worked with them; they do not need to start a new application. If previous applicants cannot remember their assigned agency, or if homeowners have other questions, they may call the Florida HHF Toll-Free Information Line at 1-(877) 863-5244.

Florida HHF unemployment/underemployment programs are as follows:

  • To assist unemployed or underemployed homeowners, the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program (UMAP) will provide up to 12 months of payments (with a cap of $24,000, whichever comes first) paid directly to the mortgage lender. Also, up to id=”mce_marker”8,000 can be paid up-front to help satisfy all or some of a delinquent first mortgage before UMAP payments commence. Total assistance available is up to $42,000.
  • To assist a homeowner(s) who has returned to work or recovered from unemployment or underemployment, the Mortgage Loan Reinstatement Payment (MLRP) Program will provide up to $25,000 as a one-time payment to help satisfy all or some of a delinquent first mortgage.

First announced on February 19, 2010, by the US Department of the Treasury (Treasury), the “Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Innovation Fund for the Hardest-Hit Housing Markets” (HFA Hardest-Hit Fund) provided $7.6 billion in federal funding to states hardest hit (18 states and the District of Columbia) by the aftermath of the burst of the housing bubble. Florida’s total allocation currently stands at more than id=”mce_marker” billion, of which approximately $566.3 million has been committed for more than 21,700 homeowners through five Florida HHF programs.

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Palm Beach County students compete successfully at the Florida Education Fund State Brain Bowl Competition.

West Palm Beach, FL— Nineteen middle and high school students from the Urban League of Palm Beach County’s (ULPBC) Center of Excellence competed at the Florida Education Fund (FEF) State Brain Bowl Competition in Tampa.

“We are so proud of all the students that competed this year and the parents that coached the kids over the past year. They worked very hard to earn the opportunity to compete at the state level,” said Marie Sanches, Senior Director of Youth and Education for the Urban League of Palm Beach County.

The Center of Excellence’s signature program, National Achiever Society (NAS) inducts high academic achieving minority students twice a year into a college prep and leadership program. As requirement of the program students must maintain all A’s and B’s and bring an adult mentor such as a parent or guardian to meetings and activities.  Over the last 7 years over 200 participants have been inducted and 100% of graduates have gone on to higher education. NAS is currently seeking applicants in 3rd- 11th grade with all A’s and B’s for its spring induction ceremony in May. Applications are due by April 22, 2014  and can be found at www.ULPBC.org or by emailing
msanches@ulpbc.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
.

2014 Florida Education Fund State Brain Bowl Competition Results for Palm Beach County:

Black History and Culture team:  Team members: Jazmin Ewers- Captain, Megan Luchey- Co-Captain, , Aidan Dixon, Farrington Fleming,  Alisha Bryant, Ervin Williams, Raeshaun Coonce and Coach: Dr. Colette Brown-Graham, Co-Coach Chioma Deere

11& 12 Grade Math Team:  Team members:  Bisma Masudi- Captain, Co-Captain Bhumika Sood, Christopher Gilbert, Daniel Gouge, Jacoby Washington and Coach: Primrose Williams

6th-8th Grade Math Team won 1st place. Team Members: Daisy Coates- Captain, Sarah Ruderman -Co-Captain, Darin Goldstein, Dwight Smith Charles West and Coach:  Kristine Coates

Donyea James won first place in the Word Wizard Competition for 6th -8th grade.

Oliana Herbert won second place in the Word Wizard Competition for 3rd-5th grade.

NAS is generously supported by the Sun Sentinel Children’s Fund, Comcast, Publix Supermarket Charities, The Lost Tree Village Charitable Foundation, Riviera Beach Kiwanis Club and members of  ULPBC.

For more information on the Center of Excellence or National Achievers Society contact Marie Sanches, Director of Youth and Education at 561-833-1461. For more information on the Urban League of Palm Beach County contact 561-833-1461 or visit www.ulpbc.org.

 

Countywide Youth Summit

On Saturday, April 26, 2014, more than 300 youth from all over the county will convene at Gaines Park in West Palm Beach for the fourth annual Palm Beach County Youth Summit. The day-long summit is themed “Stand Tall for your Future.” The event kicks off at 9 00 a.m. and ends at 230 p.m.  Registration and breakfast start at 8:00 a.m.

The purpose of the Palm Beach County Youth Summit is to provide local middle and high school aged youth with a unique opportunity to explore and address areas of concern impacting them. Youth will participate in relevant interactive workshops to include the following dynamic areas of focus:  Violence, Health, Education, and Employment.

This year we are introducing the “Think Fast” game to the summit, a fun interactive game show. The youth will receive 10 hours of community service, giveaway items, and will be eligible to participate in raffles throughout the day. 

Partners for the Youth Summit include Urban League of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, City of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition, Planned Parenthood/Teen Time, Palm Beach County School District, the Department of Children & Families, and Children Home Society. .

Registration available online at www.pbcyouthsummit.org.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               CONTACT: Public Information

August 1, 2013                                                                     561-671-4014  or
Press50@doh.state.fl.usThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

FLORIDA HEALTH PALM BEACH COUNTY HELPS GET SCHOOL AGED KIDS READY

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL—The 2013-2014 school year is just a few short weeks away and Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County is geared up  to help parents assure their students have the required immunizations.

Before School begins Monday, August 19, the Florida Health Palm Beach County Immunization Van and all of its health centers will be offering school immunizations and physicals.

 

The 2013-2014 school year now requires 12th grade students to have proof of a Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine.  Seven to 11th graders will need proof of a Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (Tdap) Booster and all students should have received other vaccines like Mumps, Measles, Rubella, Hepatitis B, Polio and their form 680 on file as proof of receipt.

 

Over the next three weeks Florida Health Palm Beach County will be conducting immunization outreaches to help parents and children get vaccinated and their records up to date at the following locations:

 

  • Fri., Aug., 2, Multilingual Psychotherapy Center, 1639 Forum Place, WPB, 10am-1pm
  • Sat., Aug., 3: Palm Springs Baptist Church, 3300 10th Ave.N., 9:30 am-1:30pm
  • Tues., Aug., 6, Plumosa School of the Arts, 2501 Seacrest Blvd., Delray Beach, 10am-2pm
  • Wed., Aug., 7, West Palm Beach Health Center, 1150 45th St., 9am-noon
  • Thurs., Aug., 8, Roosevelt Community Middle School, 1900 Australian Ave., WPB, 9:30am-1:30pm
  • Fri., Aug., 9: Bridges at Boynton Beach, St. John Missionary Church, 223 NE 12th Ave., 10am-2pm
  • Sat., Aug., 10: Bibleway Missionary Baptist Church, 506 15th St., WPB, 9am-noon
  • Tues., Aug.,13: Bridges at Northwood, 3111 N. Terrace Dr., WPB, 10am-1pm
  • Wed., Aug., 14: West Palm Beach Health Center, 1150 45th St., 9am-noon
  • Thurs., Aug.,15: Lake Worth High School, 1701 Lake Worth Rd., 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Fri., Aug., 16: Carver Middle School, 101 Barwick Rd., Delray Beach, 9:30am-1pm
  • Sat., Aug., 17: Redemptive Life Fellowship, 2101 N. Australian Ave., WPB, 9am-2pm
  • Mon., Aug., 19: United Methodist Church, 900 Brandywine Rd., WPB, 9am-2pm
  • Walk-ins and Appointments are accepted at the Health Centers in Jupiter, Delray Beach, Lantana, and Belle Glade. Check the web or call the immunization toll free number.

There is no charge for children’s immunizations for those who meet qualifications through 18 years old. Information can be obtained by calling 800-810-1225 or on the web at www.pbchd.com.

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Florida Department of Health Palm Beach County

Immunization Requirements

School Year 2013-2014

Florida Certificate of Immunizations, Form DH 680, is the only document that the schools are permitted to accept as proof of immunization.

(This form is available through Florida Health Palm Beach County- School Health Division, Florida Health Palm Beach County Health Centers, and other local medical providers.)

Shots may be obtained through your local physician, local medical providers, Health Department Health Centers or Florida Health Palm Beach County Immunization Van traveling throughout the area.

REQUIRED

Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (DTaP)

Polio Series

Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR)

Hepatitis B Series (Hep B)

Varicella

Tetanus/Pertussis Booster (Tdap)  7th grade

Haemophilus influenzae type B  (age appropriate)

Pneumococcal –children 2-59 months entering childcare

By the time a child starts school he/she should have already had all required immunizations.  A physical is required for entrance to Pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and those entering 7th grade.

PROOF OF THE FOLLOWING IS REQUIRED FOR NEW STUDENTS, TRANSFER STUDENTS AND ENTRY TO SOME GRADE LEVELS

 

PRE KINDERGARTEN      (Ages 3 & 4) KINDERGARTEN – 12TH GRADE

(DTaP) 4 doses
Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis

5 doses (4 if last dose given after 4th Birthday)

 

Polio Series 3 doses

3, 4, or 5 doses (Kindergarten  entry requires one dose after 4th birthday)

(Hib) 1-4 doses
(age appropriate) Haemophilus influenzae type B

Evidence of completion not required

(MMR) 1 dose

Mumps, Measles, Rubella

2 doses (following 1st birthday)
May also be given as 2 dose MMRV (varicella)

 

(Hep B) 3 doses

Hepatitis B

3 doses
Hepatitis B

 

(Chickenpox) 1 dose
Varicella

2 doses (grades K-5)
1 dose (grades 6-12)

Exempt with provider documentation of having chickenpox

 

(Tdap)

Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis Booster

1 dose (7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th grades)

 

(Tdap or Td)

Tetanus/Diphtheria Booster

1 dose (12th, grade)
Tdap Recommended

DON’T WAIT VACCINATE!!

June 7, 2013

URBAN LEAGUE OF PALM BEACH COUNTY HOSTS GRADUATION CEREMONY FOR YOUTH IN COMCAST’S DIGITAL CONNECTORS PROGRAM

Groundbreaking Program Provides Technology and Mentoring for Underserved Youth

WEST PALM BEACH, Monday, June 10, 2013 — Comcast and Urban League of Palm Beach County hosted a commencement ceremony for 18 youth who successfully completed the Comcast Digital Connectors program this year. Through the Comcast Digital Connectors program, these young men and women learned critical technology skills, providing them with resources to assist them in school, seeking employment and personal development.

The graduation will be celebrated with speeches from this year’s participants, remarks from local elected officials and the presentation to program graduates. The event will be held Monday, June 10 at 11 am at the Urban League of Palm Beach County located at 1700 North Australian Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33407.

“We are proud to be a partner with Comcast’s Digital Connectors program because these young, talented minds are our future,” said Patrick J. Franklin, President & CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County. “They are the ones we will depend on to bring us the latest and greatest in technology, because the future CEO’s of innovative corporations, strengthen our economy and lead our nation.”

Comcast Digital Connectors engages students ages 14 to 21 who might not otherwise have access to services that will prepare them for the 21st century workforce. The program’s challenging curriculum covers everything from leadership skills and personal development to software programming and media production. Comcast Digital Connectors also supports community development through a major program requirement that participants give back to their community by training family members and residents on how to use technology effectively.

“These Comcast Digital Connector graduates are joining an esteemed group of alumni who are innovative, entrepreneurial and engaged in improving their communities,” said Marta Casas-Celaya of Comcast. “This new generation of technology ambassadors will create a lasting culture of digital opportunity and inclusion across the United States.”

Launched in Washington, D.C., with 15 young women from the Columbia Heights neighborhood, the program today includes partners in rural and urban areas across the country. Since 2001, more than 2,000 participants have participated in Digital Connectors, providing more than 100,000 hours of volunteer service to bridge the digital divide in their communities

from New York to San Francisco. Youth projects have included: developing faith-based computer labs, creating documentaries, training community members on computers and the

Internet, using digital media to create interactive tutorials, mapping community assets, and developing wireless hot spots in local neighborhoods.

For more information on Comcast’s Digital Connectors Program please contact Marie Sanches, Director of Youth and Education at 561-833-1461 extension 3018 or email
msanches@ulpbc.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
.

April 12, 2013

Urban League of Palm Beach County receives a major grant to help urban youth offenders in high poverty areas in West Palm Beach find work

West Palm Beach, FL— Urban League of Palm Beach County received a $780,000 multi-year grant from the National Urban League through a $7.8 million dollar Department of Labor investment awarded to 10 affiliates in high poverty communities for a program called Urban Youth Employment Program (UYEP) Works.

UYEP Works will assist 100 youth offenders in high poverty/high crime census tracts in the City of West Palm Beach acquire job skills, work experience, improve educational proficiency and receive mentoring. The goal is to help participants find permanent unsubsidized employment.

“We have been doing this work for 5 years with our partners at the City of West Palm Beach and have seen significant results. This grant is evidence of the impact we have been making working with this targeted population and will help us continue this critical program,” said Patrick J. Franklin President & CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County. “Youth offenders lack the guidance and skills to break the cycle and this program will provide them ongoing support and training to improve their lives.”

A press conference will be held on Friday, April 12 at 11:15 am at the Urban League of Palm Beach County,1700 North Australian Avenue West Palm Beach with Franklin and Mayor Jeri Muoio to discuss the program which plans to put 100 people to work.

The program will begin May 1 and applicants must be youth offenders ages 18-24 living in the City of West Palm Beach. For more information please contact Ike Powell at 561-833-1461 ext. 3015 or visit www.ULPBC.org.

April 4, 2013

Palm Beach County students compete successfully at the Florida Education Fund State Brain Bowl Competition.

West Palm Beach, FL— Twenty four middle and high school students from the Urban League of Palm Beach County’s (ULPBC) Center of Excellence competed at the Florida Education Fund (FEF) State Brain Bowl Competition in Orlando on March 22-23. Once again the local Center of Excellence participants placed in a variety of categories and many received college scholarships.

“We are so proud of all the students that competed this year and the parents that coached the kids over the last few months. They worked very hard and it is evident in their performance at the state level,” said Marie Sanches, Director of Youth and Education for the Urban League of Palm Beach County.

Sanches also walked away with an award. She was recognized by FEF as the Director of the Year for her dedication and commitment to providing academic support and preparing students for college.  Sanches the Director of Youth and Education at the ULPBC oversee many programs including the Center’s signature National Achiever Society (NAS). NAS inducts high academic achieving minority students twice a year into a college prep and leadership program. As requirement of the program students must maintain all A’s and B’s and bring an adult mentor such as a parent or guardian to meetings and activities.  Over the last 6 years over 200 participants have been inducted and 100% of graduates have gone on to higher education. In 2012, 8 of the 15 high school graduates were accepted to an Ivy League school and most received full scholarships.

“Marie demonstrates a passion and commitment to helping students in the NAS program succeed. In many cases it is her advice and guidance that helps these young people get in to college and find the funding to afford higher education. We are proud of her recognition by FEF,” said Patrick J. Franklin, President & CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County.

2013 Florida Education Fund State Brain Bowl Competition Results for Palm Beach County:

Black History and Culture team placed 4th.  Team members:  Giselle Graham-Captain,                                       Elisabeth Christie -Co-Captain, Alexandra Burks, Jazmin Ewers, Gabrielle Graham, Megan Luchey,                                Jessica McNair and Coach: Dr. Colette Brown-Graham

11& 12 Grade Math Team placed first place. Team members:  Kevin Kasper-Captain, Suyash Matoli- Co-Captain, David Gouge, Jamila Picart,  Camille Sanches and Coach: Marion Goldstein

9 &10 Grade Math Team placed first place. Team members:  Bisma Masudi –Captain, Bhumika Sood Co –Captain, Daniel Gouge, Matthew Liang, Ali Younis and  Coach Primrose Williams

6th-8th Grade Math Team placed third place. Team Members: Daisy Coates- Captain, Sarah Ruderman -Co-Captain, Raeshaun Coonce, Darin Goldstein, Jessica Rochman and Coach:  Kristine Coates

Kenjela Mullings won first place in the Word Wizard Competition.

NAS is generously supported by the Sun Sentinel Children’s Fund, Comcast, Publix Supermarket Charities, The Lost Tree Village Charitable Foundation, Riviera Beach Kiwanis Club and members of  ULPBC.   NAS is currently seeking applicants in 3rd- 11th grade with all A’s and B’s for its spring induction ceremony in May. Applications are due by April 18 and can be found at www.ULPBC.org or by emailing
msanches@ulpbc.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
.

For more information on the Center of Excellence or National Achievers Society contact Marie Sanches, Director of Youth and Education at 561-833-1461. For more information on the Urban League of Palm Beach County contact 561-833-1461 or visit www.ulpbc.org.

Urban League of Palm Beach County Dedicated to Empowering Our Community For The Past 40 Years

West Palm Beach, FL— A man and a women shuffle a stack of papers in front of housing counselor Marc Marcelin awaiting word on whether or not their lender will agree to modify their loan and help them avoid losing the home they have lived in for 25 years. For Alfred Jefferson and his wife Linda, the process has been a long one but after losing his security job following an illness the Jefferson’s fell behind on their mortgage.

“We see families every day that are struggling with loss of income, reduced hours or a health crisis that have brought them to the point of foreclosure. They are desperately seeking assistance to keep them in their homes,” said Patrick J. Franklin President and CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County. “Our housing counselors advocate on their behalf and utilize all resources to help stabilize families.”

The Urban League of Palm Beach County has spent the last 40 years seeking equality for low-income minority families and individuals in the areas of housing, youth and education, employment and health. An affiliate of the National Urban League which is the largest and second oldest civil rights organization in the county serving 2.7 million people through work done by affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Urban League of Palm Beach County was created by local leaders and community members who 4 decades ago sought social and economic equality in their communities. The organization was lead for nearly 2 decades by Percy H. Lee and then transitioned through several leaders until 10 years ago Patrick Franklin joined as President and CEO. The organization has undergone a revival as an innovative and reliable source for assistance as well as an advocate on issues that face the black community.

“Our goals are simple,” said Franklin, “to ensure that every young person in our community graduates from high school and has the skills and knowledge to go on to college, work and life; educate individuals and families on financial literacy and help families obtain or maintain home ownership; come together to create strong and safer communities and address systemic issues that are leading to health disparities in the minority community.”

Urban League of Palm Beach County provides free programs and services to over 16,000 clients in the areas of housing, youth and education, workforce development and community development. In 2013, the organization will celebrate its 40th year of service.

“We have been a constant in the community for 40 years and we want people to know that we will remain committed to our mission of empowering and uplifting those that need it,” said Franklin.

Alfred and Linda Jefferson are grateful for the Urban League’s commitment to helping them through this difficult time. At the end of their meeting, they signed the paperwork on their loan modification and principal reduction from their lender that Marc Marcelin, Urban League housing counselor was able to work out with the bank.

“If it weren’t for the Urban League, we would have had a very different outcome. They gave us the ability to move on from a difficult time in our lives,” said Alfred Jefferson.

Local teen wins National Urban League Youth of the Year Award

West Palm Beach, FL—Urban League of Palm Beach County’s local chapter of the National Urban League Incentive to Excel and Succeed (NULITES) program has once again received a national award.  Tiffany Wright, a 2012 graduate of Suncoast High School and President of Urban League’s NULITES program was selected by the National Urban League at their annual conference in New Orleans, LA in July as their National Youth of the Year.

“Tiffany has demonstrated leadership, character, hard work and excellence as a member of our NULITES program and we are proud that she was recognized on a national level for her achievements,” said Patrick J. Franklin, President & CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County.

Wright has been a member of the NULITES program since she was 9 years old and credits it for giving her opportunities to prepare for college, serve her community and build friendships.

“NULITES has prepared me for college, work, and life. It has assisted me in the importance of serving my community and the characteristics of honesty, trustworthiness, and kindness that should be found in every young person,” said Wright. “I am honored to have been selected by the National Urban League and I hope to continue to serve as a leader in the movement.”

Wright graduated this spring from Suncoast High School’s competitive IB program and completed over 4,000 hours of community service while working with a variety of service organizations.  She has done everything from collecting and packing items for the victims of the Haitian earthquake, painted homes for elderly members of the community and worked on the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. She served as the Vice President of Girl Scouts of America Troop #20187, as a Sunday school teacher at Bibleway Missionary Baptist Church, Vice President of (SECME) Science Engineering Communication Mathematics Excellence Club, Chairwomen of Student Advisory Council (SAC), President of Young Ladies of Power and a member of the Black Student Union at Suncoast.

The NULITES program works with over 120 youth in our community to prepare them for college, work and life by promoting and maintaining high standards of well-being, educational, character

and leadership qualities. NULITES is designed to reflect the positive aspects of youth in today’s society while providing opportunities for personal and leadership development. The Urban League of Palm Beach County NULITES Chapter has been awarded Chapter of the Year 4 times in the last 8 year, 4 adults have been selected as Caring Adult of the Year in the last 6 years and 4 other local students have been selected as Youth of the Year over the last 10 years.

“We are proud of the students, parents and staff that have committed themselves to building leadership, life and work skills of youth in the NULITES program. They have continued to drive the program to reach new heights and set the pace on a national level,” said Franklin.

Wright is settling in to her new dorm at Spellman College where she is studying English and Communications with a minor in Spanish. She hopes to attend law school and become a civil rights lawyer.

“Being a minority, I see how my community is underserved in various areas, especially when it comes to our civil rights.  As a Civil Rights Lawyer I will be in the position to advocate against injustice, giving me the opportunity to assist my community,” said Wright.

For more information about NULITES please visit www.ULPBC.org or contact Gloria Scott, Program Coordinator at 561-833-1461 ext 3012.   NULITES will host the Youth Empowerment Luncheon with MSNBC and NextEra Energy on Wednesday, September 26 featuring MSNBC Political Commentator, author and Georgetown University Professor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. MSNBC’s Tamron Hall host of NewsNation and frequent co-host of NBC’s Today will serve as the luncheon’s Mistress of Ceremonies. Tickets are available for $55 and Tables of Ten for $550 by visiting www.ULPBC.org or call 561-833-1461 ext 3002.

Census numbers show poverty’s increasing hold on Palm Beach County

Bottom of FoBy Christine Stapleton and Ana M. Valdes Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

U.S. Census numbers released this week indicating that one in four children in Palm Beach County is poor “is just astounding” for Patrick Franklin, who heads the Urban League of Palm Beach County.

It could shock residents and community leaders, Franklin said, given the county’s image nationwide as a place of sparkling beaches, mega-mansions and Worth Avenue splendor.

“That’s great, but at the same time we have a large portion of our communities… that are living well below the poverty line,” Franklin said. “I don’t think people realize it doesn’t take you much to put you in that range.”

Tana Ebbole, chief executive officer of the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, said news that poverty among children was so severe “is devastating.”

“This is especially alarming, because we know that children who grow up in poverty are at higher risk of a host of other issues, including lack of access to quality child care, poor school performance and health complications,” Ebbole added.

The census numbers were released just weeks before the presidential election where the economy is a key issue.

Besides child poverty rates, the census’ American Community Survey indicates that poverty is on the rise in Palm Beach County, with 15.9 percent of county residents of all ages living in poverty in 2011 compared with 14.2 percent in 2010 and 14.4 percent two years ago. Statewide, poverty also increased in 2011 to 17 percent, up from 16.5 percent in 2010 and 14.9 percent two years ago.

An older, less specific 2011 survey issued last week had previously shown the first decrease in poverty across Florida in the last six years, but Census officials said the American Community Survey includes more accurate statistics.

Julie Swindler, executive director of the nonprofit Families First of Palm Beach County, said the new figures accurately portray the struggles Palm Beach County’s poorest residents face every day.

“The need is more acute than ever before,” said Swindler, adding that she’s seen noticeable increases in residents seeking help from the agency’s emergency shelter and homeless prevention programs. Two factors — high cost of living and unemployment rates — make it difficult for county residents to avoid poverty, Swindler added.

“I know some people have moved out of the area because they can’t get jobs here,” she said. “It hasn’t stabilized like other parts of the country at this point.”

Minority communities were the most affected by a struggling economy, according to census figures, with 30.9 percent of the county’s black residents and 22.3 percent of Hispanics living in poverty.

Swindler has seen these statistics reflected at her organization. At Families First, the homeless assistance program serves 154 participants, and 129 of them are African-American.

Franklin, who works daily with struggling African-American communities, said minority communities have historically struggled more during hard times.

“This has been going on for a long time. The numbers have not improved, they have stayed the same or gotten worse,” he said.

Requests for food stamps has also increased countywide, with 9.1 percent of households receiving help to purchase food. That number is up from 7.4 percent in 2010 and 6.1 percent two years ago.

Department of Children and Families spokeswoman Erin Gillespie said food stamp requests have dramatically increased since the recession hit. “Since February 2007, it’s gone up every single month,” she said, adding that although some smaller counties have seen a slight decrease in food stamp recipients, larger counties like Palm Beach have yet to register decreases.

“We haven’t seen a decrease yet but we do see it on the horizon,” Gillespie added.

Despite some disappointing poverty numbers, the number of uninsured in Palm Beach County diminished slightly in 2011, according to census data. About 20.2 percent of county residents did not have health insurance last year, compared with 21 percent in 2010. The number of uninsured residents also decreased across the state and nationwide.

But Connie Berry, co-founder and board chairwoman at the Caridad Center in Boynton Beach, said census numbers are not reflected in the poor and uninsured who visit the health center in Boynton Beach for medical and dental care.

“We have not experienced any reduction in the number of under-served, uninsured children and adults coming to Caridad Center for help,” said Berry, adding that the medical, dental and vision clinics have seen patient increases over the past year.

Franklin, from the Urban League, said he hopes the latest census figures help paint a better picture of the reality of the county’s neediest residents.

“If we can put a frame around it and say, ‘this is what poverty looks like,’” he said, “and let the picture show a rainbow of people who live here, that will show a different face to residents who basically have their head stuck in the sand.”

Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012

Teens delivered familiar message that education is the key to success

By Jason Schultz Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

WEST PALM BEACH — About 170 Palm Beach County teens filled a banquet hall and sat attentively and engaged Wednesday as MSNBC political analyst Michael Eric Dyson implored them to be “educated, intelligent, moral and just.”

Although the message was one many in attendance had heard before, Dyson, the keynote speaker at the Urban League of Palm Beach County’s annual Youth Empowerment Luncheon, sought to re-assure them that it was the way to seize the power to get a good job, wealth or anything else they want out of life.

“You can’t drive no Bentley, unless you been bending over your books and studying hard,” said Dyson, a Georgetown University professor.

The luncheon brought attention on the Urban League’s NULITES — National Urban League Incentive To Excel and Succeed — Program, which promotes education and leadership among urban youth through areas like community service, college tours and scholarships.

Luncheon emcee Tamron Hall, an MSNBC host who sometimes appears on NBC’s Today, detailed the awards the local chapter had won in recent years, and two local students who were a part of the program talked about their experiences.

Sherina Thorpe, a recent Wellington High School graduate, talked about emigrating from Jamaica as a child and getting involved with the Urban League, and how its officials pushed her to keep trying to go to college. Thorpe told the crowd, which also included adults, that she had been accepted to Northwood University but was unable to go because she needed another $8,000 on top of her scholarships. Hall personally donated $2,000, then went to community members in the audience soliciting donations until they had raised all the money Thorpe, 17, needed by the end of the luncheon.

Although his speech was lengthy and at times rambling, Dyson had the teens mostly laughing and even singing along with him. To make his points, he swung between quoting “old school” rappers and singing old R&B; songs, and commenting on everything from gay marriage to racial inequities in the justice system to funding differences between rich suburban schools and poor inner city schools.

Dyson said it was harder for children to grow up right today than it was in past generations because of what he called a constant bombardment of media images of violence and sexual temptation and problems such as online bullying.

“We didn’t have Facebook,” he said. “We were facing the book. We were reading.”

Dyson told the teens the key to empowerment and getting what they want in life is not only go to school and get educated, but to learn to be intelligent and think critically. He also told them to learn how to be moral, but not “moralistic” or intolerant of students who are gay, poor or otherwise different.

“Don’t dog them because they don’t fit into the narrow definition of what it means to be a human being,” he said, adding that adults need to “teach our young people to be just. … Why? Because we live in such an unjust society.”

Youth OK but need guidance, Dyson says

South Florida Times: Kyoto Walker

WEST PALM BEACH —Do not assume that today’s youth don’t have an understanding of the serious issues affecting them on a daily basis. They are, in fact, intelligent and politically aware but need guidance.

Georgetown University professor and MSNBC political analyst Michael Eric Dyson brought that advice to a West Palm Beach gathering as keynote speaker for the Urban League of Palm Beach County’s recent annual Youth Empowerment Luncheon.

The luncheon’s emcee, Tamron Hall, news anchor for MSNBC and host of NewsNation with Tamron Hall, could be an example of just how such guidance could be successful.

Hall said she grew up in a small town in Texas with her mother without much money in a single-parent home, with a background similar to that of many youths today.

About 600 people attended the luncheon at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in downtown West Palm Beach Sept. 26.

“We hear so many negative things about our youth everyday and to take time to celebrate some good things is a wonderful thing to do,” West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio said in an interview.

The luncheon highlighted the local arm of the National Urban League Incentive To Excel and Succeed or NULITES program which helps youths through community service and exposure to various professions, as well as teaching leadership skills.

NULITES co-chairpersons Tiareah Jakes and Jarrett Powell, both 17 and students at William T. Dwyer High School, 13601 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, said benefits of participating in the program include public speaking opportunities, meeting high profile people and travel.

“I’ve been to the National Urban League conference four times in Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago and New Orleans,” Jarrett told the South Florida Times.

“We have the opportunity to do some things that some (teens) can never get the chance to say they did,” Tiareah added.

Listening to children and what they have to say about their experiences can be enlightening, Dyson said in his address. Adults must discuss with them the complicated issues that they confront, “not condescendingly or assuming they don’t know what they’re talking about, but to offer them assistance by the examples of our lives and how we were able to overcome and how they can similarly do the same.”

Today’s youth may be dealing with homelessness, poverty or incarceration, which may lead to aimless lives, he said.

“Many are confronting extreme poverty and the extraordinary consequences of poverty,” Dyson said in an interview. “If you don’t eat well, you don’t do well in school. If you don’t do well in school, you don’t have a good job.

“If you don’t have a good job, you end up committing crimes or at least having a miserable existence.”

Dyson and Hall both said mentors are an invaluable resource and many helped to positively shape and impact their own lives.

“My church, my pastors, my teachers… these were very important figures,” Dyson said. “They gave me a sense of hope and what the future could be like.”

Hall said people with wisdom and common sense made a difference in her life.

“There are people that I grew up with who were not college educated (or) millionaires. They were people who barely got through the second grade,” she told the South Florida Times. “But they taught me life’s lessons. I would sit on the porch and talk to a woman whose name was Mama Susie. She taught me (things) I couldn’t learn in a book.”

Hall said young people see where she started and how far she has gone in her career.

“Particularly African-American kids see my life and when I tell them how I grew up, me and my mom riding around in a ripped up Gremlin,” she said.

Race-based student goals prompt controversy in South Florida

By Karen Yi, Sun Sentinel                  October 11, 2012

Florida’s public school students will be judged in part by race and ethnicity, under new education benchmarks approved this week.

And that has created a firestorm in South Florida.

Opponents say setting higher goals for whites and Asians and lower goals for Latino and black groups is insulting and feeds racial stereotypes.

“All children should be held to high standards and for them to say that for African-Americans the goal is below other students is unacceptable,” said Patrick Franklin, president and CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County.

The State Board of Education on Tuesday approved its strategic plan that in part sets different reading and math targets for students according to their heritages.

Cheryl Etters, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Education, said the disparate numbers are not meant to lower expectations but rather set “realistic and attainable” goals.

“Of course we want every student to be successful,” Etters said. “But we do have to take into account their starting point.”

According to the plan, by 2018, the state wants 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of blacks to be at or above reading grade level.

The state also wants 86 percent of white students, 92 percent of Asians, 80 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of blacks to be at or above their math grade level.

But Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said setting loftier benchmarks for some students perpetuates an already dysfunctional system.

“Why do we want to perpetuate what’s going on today?” he said. “The reality we have today is not the reality that we want to see tomorrow.”

Broward school board member Donna Korn said expectations should be equal across the board.

“All of our students have to face the same careers and if we allow them to have different levels of success, then they will falter.”

She was also concerned the strategic plan could affect the state’s issuance of school grades. “We’ll start looking at race when we’re scoring our schools. That’s not appropriate.”

But state officials said the race-based goals would not factor into school grades; schools will only be evaluated for the performance of students as a whole.

Winnie Tang, president of the Asian American Federation of Florida, said the benchmarks are also hurtful to Asians.

“We still have a lot of students who are average and below average. Being [perceived as] a higher achiever really hurts a lot of students,” she said.

The last strategic plan approved by the state in July did not differentiate between racial or ethnic groups.

Though now the goals for some groups are lower, state officials said those students still have expectations to meet and often an even bigger jump to make.

While 69 percent of white students are currently at reading level, only 38 percent of black students and 53 percent of Hispanic students meet the same standard.

The goals call for a 19 percent boost in reading levels for whites by 2018 but a 36 percent spike for blacks.

“There is an achievement gap and we’re working really hard to close that,” Etters said.

Jorge Avellana, executive director of the Hispanic Human Resources Council, Inc. in Palm Beach County, said setting a lower bar would not solve the problem of poor performance.

In 2011, 86.8 percent of white students graduated in Broward County compared to 65.5 percent of black students and 79.3 percent of Latinos.

In Palm Beach, 89.8 percent of white students graduated while 66.5 percent black students and 75.2 percent of Latino students graduated.

“Why do we have to accept that?, asked Avellana, adding that changing expectations for some groups would create a second class group of citizens.

Runcie said the state’s targets would have no impact on the district.

“We’re going to set lofty goals for all of our students. We know students regardless of race can achieve.”

Local teen wins National Urban League Youth of the Year Award

West Palm Beach, FL—Urban League of Palm Beach County’s local chapter of the National Urban League Incentive to Excel and Succeed (NULITES) program has once again received a national award. Tiffany Wright, a 2012 graduate of Suncoast High School and President of Urban League’s NULITES program was selected by the National Urban League at their annual conference in New Orleans, LA in July as their National Youth of the Year.

“Tiffany has demonstrated leadership, character, hard work and excellence as a member of our NULITES program and we are proud that she was recognized on a national level for her achievements,” said Patrick J. Franklin, President & CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County.

Wright has been a member of the NULITES program since she was 9 years old and credits it for giving her opportunities to prepare for college, serve her community and build friendships.

“NULITES has prepared me for college, work, and life. It has assisted me in the importance of serving my community and the characteristics of honesty, trustworthiness, and kindness that should be found in every young person,” said Wright. “I am honored to have been selected by the National Urban League and I hope to continue to serve as a leader in the movement.”

Wright graduated this spring from Suncoast High School’s competitive IB program and completed over 4,000 hours of community service while working with a variety of service organizations. She has done everything from collecting and packing items for the victims of the Haitian earthquake, painted homes for elderly members of the community and worked on the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. She served as the Vice President of Girl Scouts of America Troop #20187, as a Sunday school teacher at Bibleway Missionary Baptist Church, Vice President of (SECME) Science Engineering Communication Mathematics Excellence Club, Chairwomen of Student Advisory Council (SAC), President of Young Ladies of Power and a member of the Black Student Union at Suncoast.

The NULITES program works with over 120 youth in our community to prepare them for college, work and life by promoting and maintaining high standards of well-being, educational, character

and leadership qualities. NULITES is designed to reflect the positive aspects of youth in today’s society while providing opportunities for personal and leadership development. The Urban League of Palm Beach County NULITES Chapter has been awarded Chapter of the Year 4 times in the last 8 year, 4 adults have been selected as Caring Adult of the Year in the last 6 years and 4 other local students have been selected as Youth of the Year over the last 10 years.

“We are proud of the students, parents and staff that have committed themselves to building leadership, life and work skills of youth in the NULITES program. They have continued to drive the program to reach new heights and set the pace on a national level,” said Franklin.

Wright is settling in to her new dorm at Spellman College where she is studying English and Communications with a minor in Spanish. She hopes to attend law school and become a civil rights lawyer.

“Being a minority, I see how my community is underserved in various areas, especially when it comes to our civil rights. As a Civil Rights Lawyer I will be in the position to advocate against injustice, giving me the opportunity to assist my community,” said Wright.

For more information about NULITES please visit www.ULPBC.org or contact Gloria Scott, Program Coordinator at 561-833-1461 ext 3012.

APRIL 11, 2012

Urban League of Palm Beach County Center of Excellence Competes at 27th Annual Brain Bowl Competitions

The Urban League of Palm Beach County Center of Excellence participated in the 26th Annual Brain Bowl Competitions and National Achievers Society (NAS) Summit in Orlando, Florida on Friday, March 23rd through Saturday, March 24th. This event was organized by the Florida Education Fund (FEF) and teams were invited from 10 Centers throughout the State of Florida to participate in Brain Bowl Competitions in History & Culture, Mathematics, Writing, and Word Definition. Teams compete for a variety of awards, such as scholarships to Florida colleges and universities, cash prizes, and bragging rights. The Urban League of Palm Beach County sponsored: three math teams – grades 6th-8th, 9th-10th and 11th – 12th; and a Black History and Culture team.

The Urban League’s Center of Excellence high school math teams attend Suncoast Community High School and the middle school math team students attend Roosevelt Middle School. Math team for grades 11th – 12th, and 9th – 10th placed 2nd and 6th – 8th placed 3rd. President/CEO, Patrick Franklin, stated “the Center of Excellence is a critical piece to closing the achievement gap for minority students and continues to increase the pool of students who are prepared, motivated and qualified to enter higher education.”

The Center of Excellence was established to provide academic skill development, cultural enrichment, career awareness and increased exposure to higher education. To nominate a youth, please email the director at
msanches@ulpbc.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
.

March 2012

Roosevelt Middle School Students Excel at State Math and Word Wizard Events

Prowess in math earned another Math trophy for Roosevelt Middle School! Placing 3rd in the 27th Annual Math Brain Bowl state competition for grades 6-8, Apoorva Ravichandran (captain), Shivang Jadvani, Alison Austria, and Marcus Sutton were excited that their teamwork in answering the problems resulted in a win! Ms. Caelethia Clemons, 2011 Math Teacher of the Year, was their math coach for the event. Mrs. Crystal Varnadore, 2011 Dywer Award winner and math department chair, accompanied the students to the competition in Orlando, FL.   This is the third year in a row that a Roosevelt Middle team has placed in the top three! Last year’s team placed 2nd in the math competition with Marcus Sutton winning an individual 3rd place award in the Word Wizard event.

Roosevelt Middle School is a Math, Science, and Technology school with magnet programs in Pre Medical, Pre Engineering, Environmental Science, and Technology. It is an A rated school and made AYP in 2010.

A business partner with Roosevelt Middle for many years, the Urban League of Palm Beach County Center of Excellence sponsored the RMS PI-ERS team on this all-expense paid trip to participate in Brain Bowl Competitions and National Achievers Society (NAS) Summit in Orlando, FL on Friday, March 23 through Saturday, March 24. Organized by the Florida Education Fund (FEF), teams were invited from 10 centers throughout the State of Florida to participate in History & Culture, Mathematics, Writing, and Word Definition competitions. Awards included scholarships to Florida colleges, cash prizes, and bragging rights.

The Urban League’s Center of Excellence high school math teams also included the 11th -12th grade CHARGERS and the 9th -10th grade CHARGERS II. All of the team members attend Suncoast Community High School. Both teams placed 2nd. Patrick Franklin, President & CEO, stated “the Center of Excellence is a critical piece to closing the achievement gap for minority students and continues to increase the pool of students who are prepared, motivated and qualified to enter higher education.”

The Urban League of Palm Beach County has been at the forefront of youth education, community and health empowerment for the past 38 years and is the leading provider of comprehensive family services helping more than 16,000 people annually in the achievement of social and economic equality. www.ULPBC.org

March 10, 2012

THIRD FEDERAL BECOMES CORPORATE PARTNER OF URBAN LEAGUE OF PALM BEACH COUNTY

CLEVELAND – April 25, 2012 – Third Federal Savings and Loan has joined the Urban League of Palm Beach County, Florida, as a corporate partner. The affiliation between the two organizations will further assist the ULPBC in its goal of empowering communities and changing lives and continues to expand Third Federal’s mission providing value to the communities it serves.

Third Federal expanded from Ohio into Florida in 2000. The savings and loan has four full-service branches in Palm Beach County, along with another 13 along both the east and west coasts of Florida. Its mission is to help people achieve the dream of homeownership while creating value for its customers and the communities it serves.

“The Urban League (of Palm Beach County) and its goal of helping those in need achieve social and economic equality is vital to a growing, stable community. We support and applaud their efforts and are proud to partner with them in further expanding their work,” said Third Federal Chairman and CEO Marc A. Stefanski.

Third Federal Savings and Loan is a leading provider of savings and mortgage products. Founded in Cleveland in 1938 as a mutual association by Ben and Gerome Stefanski, Third Federal became a public company in 2007. The Association is dedicated to serving consumers with competitive rates and outstanding service. Third Federal, an equal housing lender, has 22 full service branches in Northeast Ohio, eight lending offices in Central and Southern Ohio, and 17 full service branches throughout Florida. As of December 31, 2011, Third Federal assets totaled id=”mce_marker”0.9 billion.

Find out how the Urban League of Palm Beach County is assisting people everyday. We hope to see you soon!!
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