Make a Difference! Leadership Academy Spring 2017 class graduates

Jul 21, 2017  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

Six participants graduated as part of the Spring 2017 Make a Difference! Leadership Academy on June 8, the eighth class to finish the grassroots IMG_3944program, an initiative of the Magnolia Project and the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition.

The goal of the Leadership Academy is to support the efforts of local residents to make changes in neighborhood factors that contribute to disparities in health and birth outcomes. The Academy trains individuals and assists them in the development of a Community Action Plan that outlines a specific project to move a community to action.

The graduating class participated in and completed several community projects. One of the biggest accomplishments the group celebrated was creating a safe bus stop for children living in the Blodgett Homes apartment complex. The group spent several hours advocating at city official offices to have the unsafe bus stop be moved from a busy intersection to a vacant grassy area. The new location allows kids to play and roam freely away from passing cars. The group also advocated for a crossing guard to be present to ensure that the children were escorted safely to and from the bus. On June 24, the group participated in their final service project, a neighborhood cleanup for their apartment complex.

Devin Coleman, chairman of the Coalition’s Northeast Florida Fatherhood Task Force, delivered the commencement speech and encouraged the graduating class to keep advocating for what is right.

For more information about the Make a Difference! Leadership Academy, please contact LaRonda Howard at

National Health Corps Florida members complete their 2016-17 term

Jul 17, 2017  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

The 2016-17 class of National Health Corps Florida members completed their service term on July 21 and were recognized for their commitment to service and contributions to the community at a Recognition Ceremony on July 13.IMG_0253

Twenty-one members completed the 46-week, 1,700-hour term, providing direct service in various public health-focused nonprofit and government partners in four counties in Northeast Florida, including Baker, Clay, Duval and Nassau counties.

At the ceremony, mentors took the time to reflect on the service the members provided throughout their term.

The 2016-17 sites were:

Guest Post: Are you the best YOU that you want to be?

Jun 28, 2017  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

Cyndia Estime and her fellow Spring 2016 Make a Difference! Leadership Academy graduates compiled the following information as their final community project. 

We can all agree that we all have a beginning and an end. Overall, everybody wants to live a good life, but how do we do that? It’s complicated yet simple. Our Leadership Academy group would like to share with you four areas we know can shape you to be your best you.

Great Character

These days, people are more open about being into themselves, which is great — it’s perfectly fine to love yourself. As amatter of a fact it’s essential, but remember to spread the love with others. Live a valuable life where people are amazed at your existence, just as you should be of theirs. Make every decision according to your core values:

  • Loyalty
  • Forgiveness
  • Respect
  • Thankfulness
  • Love
  • Serving others

These are just a few common ones. Think about which ones you come to agreement with and do a self-check to see if you’re truly living by them.

Here are a couple of links that may help you strengthen you character.


My dad told me as a little girl “everything you can touch costs money,” and to that I say I agree! To move forward in this life, money is needed. Even when something is free, we understand that it is only free to you because someone else paid for it. So how’s your relationship with money? Is money here for you in the good times and bad times? First, let’s make some money because face it, we all need money.

  1. Establish a way to make money. Think about what you are exceptional at doing and there’s your answer to making money. Once you find that out — don’t wait, go for it!
  2. Pay yourself first. When the checks start coming in, pay yourself first. It doesn’t matter the amount you decide to give yourself, you can always increase later on. You should not work just to pay bills. Put yourself first, then the bills.
  3. Save. Once your bills are paid, save, save, save. Again, the amount doesn’t really matter. The point is to start and keep it going. The money saved can be used for wedding that’s coming up or a sudden loss in the family; the new car you want or the flat tire on your current car; the vacation you want to go to; or the moment of unemployment that may come.
  4. Invest. Finally, find a way invest/grow your money. If money is going out, then money should be coming in.

Below are some links that may help you strengthen your relationship with money.

Open Position: Healthy Families Jacksonville Family Assessment/Support Worker Supervisor

Jun 26, 2017  •   Written by Erin Addington   •  no comments

The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition is accepting applications for a Family Assessment/Support Worker Supervisor with the Healthy Families Jacksonville program.

Supervisor is primarily responsible for ensuring the quality of service provision by providing ongoing, reflective, professional, supervision of up to six staff on a weekly basis. Click here for the full job description.

Resumes and cover letters should be e-mailed to