Frontline In the News

 

HOUSING AND GANG ISSUES DISCUSSED



FORT PIERCE – Housing and Gang related issues are the topics of conversation on this week’s Joy In Our Town, opening the forum to our community leaders for solutions and advice.

For the past several decades, youth gangs have played a prominent role in urban youth culture - feared by citizens, admired and emulated by many young people, and followed closely by the media. Although youth gangs have an extended presence in the United States, they largely remain a mystery in public perceptions. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, following a marked decline from the mid 1990’s to the early 2000’s, a steady resurgence of gang problems has occurred in recent years. Host Jennifer Anne Richardson talks with Jerome Gayman, Executive Director of Frontline For Kids, Inc. about Protecting Children from Gang Involvement. Mr. Gayman explains the problems associated with gangs and what prompts some kids to join gangs. He discusses some of the indicators to watch for that signal youth involvement in gangs and what programs are available to teach kids about gangs.

Then, Jennifer talks with Stefanie Myers, Assistant Director of the St. Lucie County Community Services Department about First Time Home Buying. Buying a home for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. There are many decisions to be made and options to be aware of. From checklists to credit checks, it pays to be informed about the process of buying a new home, especially when it’s your first time buying. Ms. Myers explains the current challenges facing home buyers and some issues of concern for first time buyers. She discusses how purchasing a home compares to renting and special homeownership grants and programs for single parents. Mr. Myers also discusses the 2009/10 New Home Buyer Tax Credit.


Next week, Jennifer discusses Money Management with Jospeh Moyel of Consumer Credit Counseling Services and Gang Intervention with Sandy Mack, Sr. of R.A.W. D.A.W.G.S. Youth Corp.

“Joy In Our Town” is interested in learning about your solutions to the local challenges of Family, Housing, and Substance Abuse related issues. Contact Steve Devlin at 772-489-2701 or wtcepa@bellsouth.net for more information.


 

 

The Palm Beach Post put Frontline for Kids in the "Spotlight" in the August 2007 Notables of the Treasure Coast

 


 

 

 

 

Read about Frontline For Kids in an article by Jay Meisel in the THE HOMETOWN NEWS (January 2010)

 

Reprinted by permission below:

 


By Jay Meisel Email: meisel@hometownnewsol.com

 

 

Program that helps kids gets new home

 

 

FORT PIERCE - The message on the wall at Frontline for Kids in Fort Pierce is designed to motivate about 100 students who attend the program.

"Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing."

That message got through to Isaac Virgin, a former Fort Pierce Westwood High School student, who visited Frontline at its new headquarters on South Seventh Street in Fort Pierce last week as an example for current participants.


"It pretty much taught me self-discipline and to do the right thing," said Mr. Virgin, who plays football for the University of South Florida.

The program for Mr. Virgin and others includes athletics, academics and counseling.


But while Mr. Virgin progressed in his education, the 9-year-old program has struggled during the past couple of years. Originally located at Lincoln Park Academy, it was forced to move because of St. Lucie County School District budget cuts.


Subsequently, the program moved twice within a year and ended up in a location too small to provide services for 100 children, said Jerome Gayman, the director and the founder.


The best he could do was to present the program in shifts, he said.

Last year, Frontline received an unexpected early Christmas present, he said. And to a degree, it came about through mere chance.


Joel Wynne, who owns a construction company, said he was attending a Fort Pierce City Commission meeting on a rezoning. During that meeting, a special presentation was held regarding Frontline for Kids.


"I could see the respect those kids had for Jerome," Mr. Wynne said.


That prompted Mr. Wynne to look into the program and become a supporter.


When he saw the small size of the program's facility, he decided to find a new home for Frontline.


Mr. Gayman said he was surprised and elated when last September Mr. Wynne provided the program with the building on South Seventh Street that once served as an office building for AT&T.


The 6,000-square-foot building, compared to 1,300 square feet for the previous location, has room for music and art classes, computers, academic classes and other activities.


Open to students in grades five to 12 from all over St. Lucie County, the program is aimed at preventing them from going down the wrong path. Mr. Gayman said children selected for the program are those who may need some extra help.


Kristen Knipple, a student at Lincoln Park Academy, said the program has helped her focus on what she wants to do after school. She plans to attend college and become a veterinarian.


She said she enjoys helping younger children in the program.


The program focuses on nutrition, academics, athletics and counseling, Mr. Gayman said.


Each after school session includes a mixture of those components. At the end of each day, dinner is provided to each participant.


Mr. Gayman, a native of Liberia, said he became an exchange student and attended in college in the United States.


After college, he did research at a youth center in Okeechobee County, which led him to present an idea for a program to help children to Bill Vogel, then superintendent of schools for St. Lucie County.


He and others supported the idea, he said.


Mr. Gayman said in deciding on the program, he recalled the help he received as an exchange student.


"I wanted to give back," he said. "Hopefully, they (the participants) will learn to give back."

 

 

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