[FT LAUDERDALE] – “Growing up in today’s environment, our youth face so many complex challenges in life, unlike the days of innocence when the older generation grew up!” So said newly installed Chairman of the Partners For Youth Foundation (PFY) Steve Higgins, as he delivered his address at the induction ceremony of the new PFY board at the picturesque Plantation Preserve Golf & Country Club on Saturday August 14th 2021.
Higgins continued, “It is up to us to have the conversations with our Youth, and to bring them to the table to discuss the matters that may challenge them. Our CONFAB of 2020 offered insights in Health & Wellness- including Mental Health, Scholarship opportunities, discussions around Culture and Financial responsibility”.
The new chairman stated that the administration will take the mission to the next level. This includes individual and corporate membership expansion. In addition, the establishment of strategic alliances with other youth-centric organizations, extension of our Scholarship program. Plus, launch of quarterly PFY on-line discussion series by the youth among the youth, in a safe and nonjudgmental environment. Lastly, the launch of “PFY quarterly Huddle”, where presenters will address topics of critical relevance, such as human trafficking, and the launch of our Annual February Confab in 2022.
New PPY Board
The newly inducted executive includes Eddy Edwards (vice chair) and Dr Rose Adamson Lewis. They were sworn in by the Honorable Jacqueline Powell, Judge of the 17th Judicial District of Florida. Other members of the Board include Secretary- Noelle Baldwin, Treasurer- Clinton DaCosta, Jermaine Smith, Abigail Thompson (UK) and Colin Waite.
The Consul General of Jamaica Oliver Mair brought greetings. While Commissioner and former Mayor of Broward County Dale Holness, addressed the gathering. Pledging his support for the 501c3 entity and its new board. Apologies were sent by the Mayor of Davie, Judy Paul.
Vice Chair Eddy Edwards gave a history of the Foundation. PPY was founded by Anthony (Tony) Baker, Marcia Rigg-Baker, June Minto and Michael Rigg. ABI STARTIME, which included Flavia Christopher, was a pre-cursor to PFY. It included a charm and dance school, centered on Tony’s passion for the arts and our youth. After Tony’s death, the PFY was activated as a 501c3 entity, through which the annual Miss Jamaica Florida Pageant was staged. For over two decades, the PFY has been awarding the Anthony Baker & Marcia Rigg-Baker scholarships annually. Specifically to a young lady pursuing the arts, the most recent being 2021.
The PFY induction was attended by Diaspora representative Dr Allan Cunningham and Youth Diaspora Representative Amaya Lewis. Plus, representatives of various organizations. Especially those which share a passion for our youth. Reverend Gerald Gallimore Jr. gave the invocation. Master Matthew Higgins treated the audience with a superb rendition of “God Bless America”.