Several community leaders gathered for Gulf Power’s celebration of four community service organizations last night in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.
The inaugural “Power of Service” awards was given to Truth for Youth, STRIDE, Chain Reaction and the General Daniel “Chappie” James Academy, four organizations that work to improve the lives of young people and to promote character and public service. Gulf Power’s Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Services Bentina Terry presented a $2,500 grant from Gulf Power, an inscribed award, and — from the White House — The President’s Volunteer Service Award.
Guests of the event included Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward, Eugene Franklin, President of the Gulf Coast African American Chamber of Commerce, Jaunita Scott, Coordinator of Professional Development for Pensacola State College and Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.
“Gulf Power is pleased to support organizations like these that work so hard to positively impact the future of our youth and our community as a whole,” said Terry. “This Power of Service award, which will be given each year, is our way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his service to others. We hope that through this recognition we can encourage others to find their own way to serve.”
The awards ceremony and reception was held at Five Sisters Blues Café in Pensacola on Monday, Jan. 16 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Power of Service Recipients:
Chain Reaction provides students between the ages of 13 and 18 with meaningful volunteer opportunities in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Chain Reaction works with over 1,200 teens and has partnered with 130 different community agencies, providing monthly opportunities for teens to volunteer. Chain Reaction seeks to develop Escambia and Santa Rosa teens into active citizens that recognize the significance of giving back and prepare them for their next journey after completing high school. Some of the services they provide include offering teens the opportunity to volunteer, character education and monthly leadership trainings.
The General Daniel “Chappie” James ACE Academy is an aviation exposure program designed to introduce young boys and girls to the aviation industry at all levels. Their goal is to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) through aviation that will allow young children to embrace education in a fun and positive way. The Pensacola ACE Academy started in 1996 and is sponsored by the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals Inc. For more information, go to www.obap.org.
Truth for Youth, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is comprised of an all-volunteer staff of concerned citizens, educators, and businesses in Pensacola. Overnight lock-ins are coordinated to provide social, civic, educational and recreational activities for inner-city, at-risk, underprivileged youth, ages six to 16. The targeted population includes economically distressed, low-income areas and supports both Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
The mission of Students Taking Responsibility In Developing Excellence (STRIDE) is to provide positive male role models, academic tutoring, and character development mentoring to fourth and fifth grade at-risk male students. STRIDE believes it is critical for male, at-risk students in this age group to receive academic and character development mentoring to enhance their opportunity of a successful future. Some of the goals of STRIDE include improving students’ performance on standardized tests, helping students resist negative peer pressure and encouraging students to take responsibility for their individual actions.
For more information, go to www.stridementors.com.