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APRIL 2019

In this Edition: 
  • Year Round Advocacy - Session Begins & Advocacy Day Recap
  • 5 Days of Action
  • 62nd State Assembly Recap
  • State Hypertension Grant
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Florida Ys in the News


Appropriations Update

Here is an update on the Appropriations: 
  • Youth In Government  - $100,000 in the budget (recurring), $200,000 NOT IN THE BUDGET (non-recurring)
  • USFSP/YMCA Civics Fellows  - $100,000 in the budget (recurring), $176,000 NOT IN THE BUDGET (non-recurring)
  •  YREADS! - $764,972 in the budget (recurring)
  •  Safety Around Water - $250,000 NOT IN THE BUDGET (non-recurring)
During the last review, non of the individual Y appropriations have made it into the budget. 

Advocacy Day Recap
On Tuesday March 12th we held our Advocacy Day in Tallahassee. This was a very different approach than
in previous years. Instead of doing individual legislative visits, we were able to use a capitol room and have key legislators and agency heads come talk to us as a group. The consensus was that it was an informative day with some good potential outcomes.

Thank you to the legislators and agency heads that joined us: 

  • Lt. Governor Jeanette Nunez
  • Secretary of Juvenile Justice Simone Marstiller
  • Assistant Secretary of Juvenile Justice Alice Sims
  • Juvenile Justice Director of Legislative Affairs Rachel Moscoso
  • Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran
  • Secretary of Children and Families Chad Poppell 
  • Senator Ed Hooper
  • Representative Renee Plasencia
  • Representative Jay Trumbull
  • Representative Chris Sprowls
  • Representative Jamie Grant
  • Senator Aaron Bean
  • Representative Travis Cummings

Thank you to the following Y-Staff for participating (from left to right): 

  • Shannon Sprowls, YMCA of the Suncoast
  • Scott Goyer, YMCA of the Suncoast
  • Sue Loyzell, YMCA of South Florida
  • David Jezek, YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg
  • Cindy Love, YMCA of South Collier
  • Kirk Eich, YMCA of West Central Florida
  • Penny Zuber, YMCA of Florida's First Coast
  • Jason Hagensick, YMCA of South Palm Beach County
  • Angela Howard, YMCA of North Central Florida
  • Matt Mitchell, Tampa Metropolitan YMCA
  • Michael Bodenhausen, YMCA of Northwest Florida

On-Going Advocacy
For tips on engaging your elected officials visit the Find Your Legislator page on our website! 

For a complete guide check out Y-USA's Updated Engaging with Public Officials Toolkit and the Exchange Page for Tools and Resources.


Five Days of Action (April 22 -26) is an awareness building campaign about child sexual abuse prevention to engage communities, improve internal operations and advance policy and environmental changes to protect children from sexual abuse.

YMCAs and other youth serving organizations will come together to spread prevention messages on social media, host events to train parents and community volunteers, and educate the community about keeping kids safe from sexual abuse.

Register to participate and download the Five Days of Action toolkit


February  marked the 62nd Annual Florida YMCA Youth In Government State Assembly Event. More than 500 students from across the state participated in this year's State Assembly event. 

Since 1957, high school students from across Florida have been convening at our Capitol to participate in a youth-run, youth-led model legislative process. Over the past 62 years, the annual State Assembly experience has prospered into a full-fledged,
4-day conference that offers 3 distinct and comprehensive program areas: Legislative, Judicial, and Executive. Each section of programming seeks to model their real-world counterparts as closely as possible.

This year, some of the youth legislation highlights included: 

  • Mental Health
  • Human Trafficking Education
  • School Safety
  • Water Restoration & Management

Congratulations to our incoming 2019-2020 Program Year Youth Leadership: 

  • Solomon Scholl, Youth Governor, YMCA of the Treasure Coast
  • Esha Patel, Lt. Governor, North Central Florida YMCA
  • Shanaya Jaitly, Chief Justice, YMCA of West Central Florida 
  • Allyssa Rutherford, Williams Senate President, Tampa Metro YMCA
  • Kasun Navaratna, Williams House Speaker, SKY Family YMCA
  • Mun Ahmed, Attorney General, SKY Family YMCA
  • Frankie DeCeasre, Chief Financial Officer, YMCA of the Treasure Coast 
  • Kate Prest, Commissioner of Agriculture, Tampa Metropolitan YMCA
  • Jaden Wildridge, Senior Justice, YMCA of the Suncoast
  • Martin Martinez, Sullivan Senate President, YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg
  • Rushee Soni, Sullivan Speaker of the House, North Central Florida YMCA
Congratulations to our award winners: 
  • YMCA of Central Florida
    • Outstanding Civil Brief, Firm I – Dr. Phillips High School –  Sabrina Cherubin, Salma Bechar,  Ally Wolman, Valeria Fernandez
  • YMCA of Florida's First Coast
    • Outstanding Legislation - Sachita Yerramilli
    • Outstanding Department - Erin Nesmith
    • Outstanding Legislation Runner-Up - Miller Woosley
  • YMCA of Greater Naples
    • Outstanding Director of Legislative Affairs - Camille Consolo - Department of State
    • Outstanding Statesman Runner-Up - Katie Phillips
    • Outstanding Legislation Runner-Up - Ryan Cialone
  • YMCA of North Central Florida
    • Outstanding Criminal Attorney - Harrison Grooms
    • Outstanding Law Firm Runner-Up - Firm N – Oak Hall School - Graham Bernstein, Jacob The Lozen, Harrison Grooms
  • YMCA of Palm Beaches
    • Look Out Award - Guyberson Pierre
    • Outstanding Statesman Runner-up - Eric Singleton
  • SKY Family YMCA
    • Outstanding Legislation Runner-Up - Connor McCord
    • Outstanding Statesman - Payton Ziegler
    • Outstanding Statesman - Francesca Angeletti
    • Outstanding Attorney - Krisha Parikh
    • Best Memo Runner-up - Submit Author's full name(s) - Angelena Novotney
    • Outstanding Delegate Justice - Diya Patel
    • Outstanding Statesman Runner-Up - Kimmie Balch
    • Outstanding Statesman - Clay Robison
    • Outstanding Civil Attorney - Madison Reynolds
    • Outstanding Statesman Runner-Up - Jason Puwalski
  • YMCA of South Florida
    • Most Improved Award - Kirby St. Preux
    • Outstanding Member - Daniela Hernandez
    • Outstanding Legislation - Marvelee Dorcenat
    • Outstanding Statesman Runner-Up - Alvaro Perpuly 
  • YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg
    • Most Improved Award - Elijah Dixon
    • Look Out Award - Richelle Still
    • Outstanding Legislation - Jack Kramer
    • Outstanding Legislation - Matthew Crowder
  • YMCA of the Suncoast
    • Most Improved Award - Marianne Rose Canete
    • Outstanding Law Firm - Firm H – Countryside High School – Juliana Wardell, Hannah Shouppe, Brooke Miacallef, Josh Watson
    • Outstanding Delegate Justice - Josh Watson
  • Tampa Metro YMCA
    • Outstanding Legislation - Ashley Peace
    • Outstanding Legislation Runner-Up - Brian Fritz
    • Outstanding Statesman Runner-up - Ashley Peace
    • Outstanding Civil Attorney Runner-Up - Alec Tvenstrup
    • Outstanding Statesman - Lena Diasti
  • YMCA of the Treasure Coast
    • Look-out Award - Kyle Ramos
    • Outstanding Department - Nicole Daly
    • Outstanding Legislation Runner-Up - Cole Foster
    • Outstanding Statesman - Sam Crombie
    • Outstanding Legislation - Grace Alford
  • YMCA of West Central
    • Best Memo - Submit Author's full name(s) - Skylar Peterson
    • Outstanding Statesman - David Pyle
    • Outstanding Criminal Attorney Runner-Up - Owens Parker
    • Outstanding Criminal Brief - Firm D – Alpha Delta Y – Ansley Topper, Shania Davis, Owens Parker, Jenna Soules

Thank you to all of the YMCAs and volunteers that made the assembly a success! 


The Florida Alliance of YMCAs has received a Hypertension grant from YMCA of the USA. The alliance will be working with partners from the Florida Department of Health and the American Heart Association to deliver the program. Kelly Prather will be taking the lead on the delivery of this program. 

The Ys that are likely to participate are: 

  • YMCA of Palm Beaches
  • YMCA of South Palm Beach County
  • YMCA of South Florida
  • YMCA of West Central Florida
  • Lake Wales YMCA
  • Highlands County YMCA


Walmart Foundation Accepting Applications for Community Grant Program

The Walmart Foundation is accepting applications through its Community Grant Program.

Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to local nonprofit organizations located within the service area of individual Walmart stores in the areas of hunger relief and healthy eating, health and human services, quality of life, education, community and economic development, diversity and inclusion, public safety, and environmental sustainability.

To be eligible, applicants must be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) or (19) of the Internal Revenue Code; or a recognized government entity (state, county, or city agency, including law enforcement or fire departments) requesting funds exclusively for a public purpose; or a K-12 public or private school, charter school, community/junior college, state/private college or university; or a church or other faith-based organization with a proposed project that benefits the community at large.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through December 31, 2019

Link to full RFP here


FLORIDA YIG: Civic Fellows Institute 
June 9th -15th 2019
St. Petersburg, FL

FLORIDA LEADERS CLUB: Blue Ridge Leaders School (BRLS)
June 15th -22nd 2019
Black Mountain, NC

FLORIDA YIG: Conference on National Affairs (CONA)
June 27th- July 5th 2019
Black Mountain, NC

St. Petersburg Regional Training Event
January 9 - May 24, 2019
Event Information

Tampa Spring Regional Training Event
March 29 - June 30th, 2019
Event Information

Contact Rhonda McVey, Regional Training Director, YUSA Training Partner YMCA, for more information.

  • Central Florida Metro YMCA  
  • Florida's First Coast YMCA
  • Highlands County Family YMCA  
  • Lake Wales Family YMCA
  • Manatee County Family YMCA
  • Greater Marco Family YMCA
  • North Central Florida YMCA
  • YMCA of Northwest Florida
  • Palm Beaches Metropolitan YMCA
  • YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg
  • Sarasota Family YMCA
  • The SKY Family YMCA
  • YMCA of South Florida
  • YMCA of South Collier
  • YMCA of South Palm Beach County
  • YMCA of the Suncoast
  • Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA
  • YMCA of the Treasure Coast
  • Volusia/Flagler Family YMCA
  • YMCA of West Central Florida
Have something you want featured in the next edition of this newsletter? E-Mail Us
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