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North Florida Community Wealth Building
The North Florida Community Wealth Building (NFCWB) is a Community Resource Development initiative. NFCWB works to strengthen the assets of north Florida rural and urban fringe communities by increasing economic gains, social improvements and environmental stewardship. To strengthen community-based assets, CRD provides assistance to individuals, families, counties, communities, businesses, including 501 (c) 3 organizations and collaborates with higher education institutions, governments, and the private sector to accomplish its mission. This approach brings people together to solve local community-based issues by using constructs that help people of different races, cultures and/or socio economic statuses see their common vulnerabilities.
- Entrepreneurship for At-risk Youth
- Steam Garden Education
- Not-for-Profit 501(c)3 (Tax-Exempt) Organization Development and Expansion
- North East Leon County Historic Preservation Project
- Estate Planning
Entrepreneurship for At-risk Youth
Initiatives that support youth are vital to the overall health of our local communities. Youth entrepreneurship training is one strategy to support youth as they face historic increases in joblessness, unemployment rate that is three times higher than that of adults, and a rapidly shifting global economy. It is well known that entrepreneurship education is the fundamental tool for creating an ongoing cycle of learning and innovation that will bring sustainable job creation and re-creation to communities. ( Dabson, 2001; Dabson & Marcoux, 2003).
Our aim is to create a large pool of young people deemed at-risk across a broad spectrum of entrepreneurial motivations, to provide a steady stream of high achievers and risk takers with an interest in creating jobs and wealth in their own north Florida communities that will impact the larger global economy.
The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) is our chosen method to develop high achieving risk taking youth entrepreneurs. NFTE is a program designed to inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities and to plan for successful futures. Founded in New York City in 1987 by Steve Mariotti, a former entrepreneur turned high school math teacher in the South Bronx, NFTE began as a program to prevent dropouts and improve academic performance among students who were at risk of failing or quitting school.
Combining his business background with his desire to teach at-risk students, Steve discovered that when young people from low-income communities are given the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship, their innate "street smarts" can easily develop into "academic smarts" and "business smarts." Through entrepreneurship, young people discover that what they are learning in the classroom is relevant to the real world. NFTE fosters the creation of businesses and the development of an adaptable, driven and opportunity-focused workforce that ultimately promotes economic stability. External research on the program has shown that NFTE graduates start and maintain businesses at substantially higher rates than their peers. Other research findings indicate the following trends:
- Increased interest in attending college
- Greater occupational aspirations
- Improved scores in independent reading
NFTE’s curriculum consists of instructional lessons that address concepts of competitive advantage, ownership, opportunity recognition, marketing, finance, and product development - and all tie back to core math and literacy skills. Each student comes up with an idea for a business and works throughout the course to prepare a business plan which they present and defend to a panel of judges.
Current NFTE Services
Our resources include three certified NFTE instructors. NFTE is offered locally at the Second Chance Ghazvini Learning Center an alternative school, located in Tallahassee, FL. Ghazvini is one of 59 schools in the Leon County School District. The learning experience of participating students includes two weekly 1 hour classroom sessions that consists of chapter activities, homework/business research assignments, Power Point presentations, Q & A quizzes and concluding with a competitive business plan presentation.
The 2009 National Academy of Science published a report “Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World” making a sound case for agriculturally-based institutions to develop strategies to foster the next generation of leaders and professionals needed to address global challenges (food supply safety, energy security, bio-security, human health and climate change). The report contributors see many of today’s major challenges—including energy security, national security, human health, and climate change—as more closely tied to the global food and agriculture enterprise. Unfortunately, the number of agriculture degree seeking students continues to decline because strategic programming to counter the prevailing negative perception of agriculture ---unrelenting hard work for little reward ---held by young people and their parents is inadequate.
The reality of the Agriculture Industry is far different from the prevailing view. Today’s global agricultural enterprise stretches beyond the farm to encompass hundreds of thousands of entities involved in the production and distribution of food and other agricultural products worldwide. Together with the public institutions that regulate and support them, this highly diverse enterprise generates a level of economic activity of staggering magnitude and breadth. It is supported by a workforce that includes not only farmers, but also an enormous array of other skilled professionals, including scientists, seed suppliers, food chemists, ethanol producers, packaging engineers, food safety experts, risk assessors, grocery suppliers, and many others. This agricultural workforce must constantly respond to changes in the physical, economic, and social environment surrounding agriculture. For example, meeting food demands of the expanding human population is complicated by a new demand for biofuels. In addition, as climate change alters the planet’s physical and ecological conditions, growers and distributors are under increasing pressure to adjust their practices and take steps to mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions.
Current STEAM Garden Services
Our goal is to provide opportunities for north Florida K-5 students, their parents and teachers to develop a positive view of the agriculture industry and its career opportunities by participating in garden-based education that demonstrates the connection agriculture has with science, technology, engineering and math (STEAM).
A variety of garden platforms will function as demonstrations and laboratories where students can witness and participate, respectively in agronomy (vegetables) and husbandry (animals).
Currently Garden-based education is being implemented at seven locations under the FAMU-Red Clay Garden Project through funding from the USDA/NAIA Children Youth and Families at Risk program.
Types of gardens implemented:
- Container garden
- Traditional row crop gardens
- Raised bed
- Vertigro (hydroponics garden)
Each site utilizes hands-on instruction where students participate in all aspects of gardening: ground cultivation, planting, applying fertilizer, weed and pest management, composting and harvesting. Students also participate in market days where they gain agripreneurship skills by selling produce from their garden. Others harvest and prepare meals with the produce from their gardens. Current partners include three school districts, University of Florida Gulf and Gadsden County Extension Offices, Tallahassee Parks and Recreation, Leon County Public Works, Evershine Hydroponics (private partner) and the Boys and Girls Club of North Florida.
Non-profit 501(c)3 (tax-exempt) Development and Expansion
To provide better services to citizens the non-profit sector is increasingly becoming the chosen partner of State and local governments, and the private sector. Communities benefit in many ways from partnerships with tax-exempt organizations, such as gaining access to new dollars and partnerships otherwise in accessible to the private sector. Other community benefits that not-for-profits provide include:
- Services needed in the community
- Avenues for citizens to get involved as volunteers
- Testing ground for solutions to community problems
- Public policy options for government to consider
- Voice for underrepresented citizens
- Public education on issues facing society
- Structures for citizen participation in a free society
- Opportunities for religious worship new dollars and partners to communities which are not otherwise accessible.
(Source: North Carolina Center for Nonprofits)
Current Non-Profit Development and Expansion Services
Technical assistance is available for individuals and groups interested in developing a non-profit tax-exempt organization to benefit their local communities. Currently, technical assistance is provided to the Havana Community Development Corporation (HCDC) a not-for-profit organization located in rural Havana, Florida (Carver Heights community). CRD is collaborating with HCDC to support the implementation of a $6 million dollar renovation project of what was formerly Havana North side High School (closed 2002). Technical assistance is provided to HCDC in their effort to secure USDA rural business development and community facilities grants and loans. Planned services include: entrepreneur education classes for youths and adults and provide small business education classes that will support sustaining and expanding existing businesses. The mission of the HCDC is to enhance the quality of life of the residents by using the site as a hub for providing a learning environment towards entrepreneurship, and valuable social service programs and a 15 acre gardening projects that would directly impact the economic conditions of the area. The projects are designed to help ameliorate many problems derived from poverty, poor health and unemployment in that area. Other HCDC partners include: The Florida Department of Health, Office of Minority Health, Department of Human Services, Tallahassee Community College, Gadsden county School Board, Gadsden County Commissioners, community service programs such as Body and Soul in Motion and Community Cares.
Northeast Leon County Historic Preservation Project (Visit Us On Facebook)
Northeast Leon County has a rich cultural history that reaches back hundreds of years, but remains to a large degree undocumented. The personality and unique character of a community is in large part attributed to its history. The act of preserving history provides a link to the roots of the community and its people. Historic preservation involves much more than simply saving and restoring old buildings and sites of historic importance; there are economic, cultural, environmental, and educational benefits of historic preservation, all of which are inextricably connected to one another and to the living memory of involved communities.
- Culturally a community is richer for having the tangible presence of past eras and historic styles.
- Economically a community benefits from increased property values and tax revenues when historic buildings are protected and made the focal point of revitalization and when the community is attractive to visitors seeking heritage tourism opportunities.
- Socially a community benefits when citizens take pride in its history and mutual concern for the protection of the historic building fabric.
- Developmentally a community benefits from having a concerted and well-defined planning approach for the protection of historic buildings while accommodating healthy growth.
- Environmentally a community benefits when historic buildings are restored or rehabilitated rather than demolished and disposed of in the community landfill.
- Educationally a community benefits through teaching local heritage and the understanding of the past and the resultant cultural respect by its citizens.” Copy right: 2003-2010 Historic Hawaii Foundation unless otherwise noted.
Current Historic Services
This initiative promotes the placement of name signs and Florida Heritage Landmark recognition for communities that have existed for over 200 years and yet have not been officially recognized or identified for their contributions to Leon County and the State of Florida. These communities include Barrow Hill, Rock Hill, Clifford Hill, Union Branch, St. Pete, Blocker, Coon Bottom and others. Preserving the history of these communities will increase public awareness of the rich cultural heritage of north east Leon County and enhance the enjoyment of historic sites in Florida by its citizens and tourists. Overtime this initiative will also promote sustainable tourism.
The goal of this initiative is to increase understanding and utilization of estate planning for rural African-American land owners and other socially diadvantaged farmers and ranchers in north Florida communities to prevent land loss and promote land transfer. Land ownership is a vital asset to all communities. However land ownership by African-Americans has declined rapidly. In 1910 land ownership by African Americans was at its highest 16-19 million acres, according to the Census of Agriculture. By 2002, landownership by African-Americans had decreased by 90% to 1.6 million acres. (Gilbert, J., 2002). In an U.S... Senate-commissioned study conducted by the Emergency Land Fund in the early 1980s, it was found that approximately 80% of African-American rural landowners did not have an estate plan. Common legal contributors to land loss include:
- Lack of Estate Planning
- Tax Sale
- Partition Sale
- Voluntary Sales
Other Contributors to Land Loss
- Exploitation and
- Inaccessible Legal Counsel
Current Estate Planning Services
Activities to increase understanding and utilization of estate planning include conducting workshops, collaborating with legal experts, churches and other groups, and dissemination of print material through a variety of communication mediums. This initiative also addresses issues specific to USDA/NIFA as it relates to estate planning with socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and the important economic resources contained in forestry and natural resources addressed by the Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA) initiative. RREA at FAMU: Five year plan addressing forest and natural resource enterprises as a way to generate additional income for economically disadvantaged farmers and ranchers which will provide additional income to sustain their farms and lands from generation to generation. A survey was used to identify the target audience, who indicated the following as areas of concern: Economic Opportunities for Individuals and Communities, Food Production, Safety, and Security, Inter-generational Land Transfer, through integrated and collaborative programs.