Annual event promotes the health, safety and well-being of Florida's children.
Nine youth from the University Area Community Development Corporation, Inc.'s (UACDC) Prodigy cultural arts program recently returned from meeting with state legislators during April's Children's Week in Tallahassee. Prodigy, funded by the Department of Juvenile Justice, delivers life skills such as communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution through a performing and visual arts curriculum for at-risk youth ages 7-17.
Children's Week at the Capitol is a grassroots event supported by more than 100 nonprofit, corporate, philanthropic and faith-based organizations, as well as state agencies. The goal is to strengthen Florida's families by sharing a commitment to improve communities through events and outreach efforts aimed at promoting the health, safety and well-being of our children.
Prodigy youth representing Pasco, Hillsborough, Polk and Orange counties were selected for the annual event and met with legislators to share their experiences and appreciation for the program. Some of the youth were also given the opportunity to display singing and drawing talents developed during their time with Prodigy.
Throughout the week, Prodigy youth met with Rep. Richard Corcoran, Legislative Assistant Jared Ochs, Speaker Will Weatherford and Legislative Assistant Ralph Lair from Pasco County; Rep. Ross Spano, Legislative Assistant Matthew Yost, Rep. Dana Young and Rep. Janet Cruz of Hillsborough County; Rep. Darryl Rouson and Sen. Arthenia Joyner representing Hillsborough, Pinellas and Manatee counties; Sen. John Legg and Legislative Assistant Rich Reidy of Hillsborough and Pasco counties; Polk County's Rep. John Wood; Sen. Greg Evers of Okaloosa County; Wansley Walters, Secretary for Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice and Legislative Assistant Katelyn Murray from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
The youth also toured the Historic Capitol, where they learned the political history of the building and how Tallahassee became the state capitol, as well as Florida State University to explore the school's academic programs and concentrations.
Prodigy reached more than 3,200 youth in the recent grant year through a seven-county region, which includes Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Polk, Pasco, Pinellas and Orange. Dollar for dollar, Prodigy is one of the lowest costs per youth programs in the state of Florida and has an 89 percent non-recidivism rate. By diverting youth from moving deeper into the juvenile justice system, those at Prodigy believe they are in turn saving the state money, improving communities and truly transforming young lives.
For more information about Prodigy, please visit www.transformingyounglives.org or view their program video at www.youtube.com/user/UACDCProdigy.
Prodigy is a research‐based diversion, intervention and prevention program that provides a safe arena where at-risk youth ages 7-17 learn communication, problem‐solving and conflict resolution skills through visual and performing arts. Prodigy currently serves more than 3,200 youth in seven West Central Florida counties and is operated by the UACDC in Tampa. For more information about Prodigy, please visit www.transformingyounglives.org.
About the UACDC
The University Area Community Development Corporation, Inc. (UACDC) is a 501(c)(3) public/private partnership whose mission is children and family development, crime prevention and commerce growth. Its primary focus is the redevelopment and sustainability of the at-risk areas surrounding the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida. The UACDC was named Nonprofit of the Year for Public and Societal Benefit by the Tampa Bay Business Journal in 2011 and 2012. It is headquartered in the University Area Community Center Complex, owned by Hillsborough County and operated by the UACDC, which is located at 14013 North 22nd Street in Tampa. For more information about UACDC, please visit www.uacdc.org or call Dan Jurman at 813-558-5212, ext. 208.