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Community Impact Fund

Learning to cope Finding the high road

before you flourish
Ready For Life
(RFL) is engaging
HYPE is a gang prevention program
of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa
foster care youth,
Bay that provides effective prevention
private citizens, and public resources to assist Pinellas
programs for youth who are the most
County foster youth in a successful transition to adult-
likely targets of gang recruitment by
hood. This public-private partnership works in
providing out-of-school time activities
conjunction with Eckerd Community Alternatives
and youth development programs.
and JWB Children’s Services, and is always looking
Outcomes from the HYPE program include:
for dedicated volunteers.
This is where Barbara Peck comes in. As Director
• 89% of participants showed increased
of Development at St. Petersburg’s Academy Prep, a
academic competencies based on pre- and
middle school for disadvantaged students, Barbara
post-test data
has a keen interest in helping young people who face
difficult challenges. She became chair of the Life Skills • 84% had consistent school attendance

“One young girl said Ready for Life was the • 87% were on grade level and progressed
springboard she needed to move on. When to the next grade level
you hear it from the kids themselves, it’s a • 99% had no reported involvement with
moving experience.” a gang or the juvenile justice system
Barabara Peck, Volunteer with Ready for Life

Committee, which connects kids with services that HYPE creates opportunities for participating
help them with things like financial management, youth to master creative skills and artistic expression,
food management, and home safety. “Things we, for teamwork, for health-enhancing social activities and
as experienced adults, think are so simple become for making a difference in the community through
daunting for these kids,” she explains. Things like getting volunteer work and service learning. The results
to work when you don’t have a driver’s license, or setting (above) speak for themselves.

Annual Repor t 2010 | Community Foundation of Tampa Bay

up an apartment when you’ve never lived on your own. Bria Fleming, a HYPE graduate, is an outstand-
Barbara recalls one young girl telling the committee ing example of these possibilities. Overcoming the
about the devastating things she experienced in her distractions and challenges of her youth, she is now
life as a foster child. “She said Ready for Life was the attending Florida A&M University studying veterinary
springboard she needed to move on. It really affected medicine and has been
me. When you hear it from the kids themselves, it’s a selected to serve on
moving experience.” the 2010 National
Keystone Steering
Ready for Life youth
at a recent gather- Committee of
ing at the Morean
Arts Center. the Boys & Girls
Clubs of America.

Bria Fleming (l) and

Boys & Girls Clubs
Outreach Coordinator,
De’Anna Irizarry (r). 9