ST. PETERSBURG — The Pinellas County Urban League was recently awarded a $435,000 grant by the State of Florida Office of the Attorney General to implement the Florida Urban Youth Empowerment Program (UYEP).
The goal of the program is to support the governor’s initiative to make Florida the hub for economic opportunity through jobs and education, by delivering academics, career exploration and personal development services to young adults, age 16-24.
Special emphasis will be placed on those who are primarily disconnected from traditional education and job systems, particularly minority, in metropolitan areas throughout the state of Florida. The operating premise is that exposure to career opportunities will ignite the desire for knowledge and introduce the desire for lifelong learning.
The statewide consortium of Urban League affiliates received over $2 million to serve a total of 800 youth in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Miami, Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa and St. Petersburg. The PCUL is responsible for serving 200 youth; 100 each in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
UYEP participants will receive a comprehensive array of services from dedicated instructors and coaches including hands-on work experience and access to employers, GED instruction and study material, employability and life skills training, post-secondary/vocational education information, career and personal development training and financial literacy training.
UYEP is free of charge to young people who are 16-24 years of age, a high school graduate or a high school dropout, eligible to work, unemployed or underemployed, looking for a job or looking to go back to school.
Randy Lewis, director of Youth & Family Services for the Urban League, is excited about this new program, which he feels presents an opportunity for a fresh start for ex-offenders and high school dropouts.
“UYEP will eliminate all excuses and barriers to success for disenfranchised young adults and put them in a position to obtain not just jobs, but to establish meaningful careers. The program is another opportunity for the Urban League to carry out our mantra of Empowering Communities, Changing Lives,” Lewis said.
Space for this exciting program is limited, so interested individuals should call now to register. In Pinellas County, contact Jade Spradley at (727) 227-2081 ext. 119 or firstname.lastname@example.org; in Hillsborough County, contact William Knowles at (727) 906-2488 or email@example.com.