On Monday, June 14th, Wexford Science & Technology, LLC, a privately held real estate investment and development company, and the Urban Research Park CDE, LLC presented the Overtown Youth Center with a $100,000 donation.
â€œThis generous donation will be used to fund programs that help students achieve academic, fitness and social goals. These funds granted by UM’s Life Science & Technology Park Project will help us reach our goal to provide academic and family support as well as enriching experiences to 270 children and 160 families in the Overtown community. Our hope is that with the help of our partners, donors, grantors and other stakeholders, we can provide invaluable opportunities so that our children will one day become positive contributing citizens,â€ said Bill Diggs, Chairman of Alonzo Mourning Charities.
â€œWe are truly honored and privileged to accept this very generous donation from Wexford Science & Technology, LLC and the Urban Research Park CDE, LLC,â€ said Vincent L. Dimmock, CEO of Alonzo Mourning Charities. â€œThis contribution was made possible by UM’s Life Science & Technology Park Project. The initiative continues to give tremendous support to the Overtown Youth Center. These funds will go toward our mission to provide life-enriching opportunities for the hundreds of children and families we serve in the community.â€
Wexford Science & Technology is the private developer building the first phase of the University of Miami (UM) Life Science & Technology Park, along Northwest 7th Avenue, in historic Overtown. The UM Life Science & Technology Park is an important part of UM Innovation â€“ the entity within the university responsible for technology development. The Park will house companies that may work synergistically with UM faculty to advance discoveries from the research bench to the bedside to help people. It will provide facilities, infrastructure and interdisciplinary opportunities to foster the development of life sciences, technology and biotechnology innovations. Located on the eastern section of the UM/Jackson campus, adjacent to the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, the Miami Health District and centrally situated in the heart of Miamiâ€™s historic Overtown, the UM Life Science & Technology Park will facilitate access to outstanding resources and create synergies between the University and future tenant companies, advancing clinical breakthroughs and benefiting all people.
The ceremony included Overtown Youth Center Advisory Board Members: Judge Peter Adrien; Phil Bacon; Heather Bailey; Chantel Christopher; Andre Crenshaw, Esq.; Lazaro Dominguez; Anthony Jackson; Stephen A. Marino, Esq.; Natasha D. Mayne, Vice Chairman Overtown Youth Center, Esq.; Jodi Silva, Chairman Overtown Youth Center; Michelle Surtain; Leo Toca; and Lisa Wooten. Vincent Dimmock, newly appointed CEO of Alonzo Mourning Charities; Bill Diggs, Chairman Alonzo Mourning Charities; and Misty Brown, Chief of Staff for Miami Dade County Commissioner Edmonson were also in attendance.
University of Miami attendees included Juan Carlos Del Valle, Director of Government Affairs and Keith Fletcher, Director of the William R. Butler Center for Service & Leadership.
â€œUM is proud of its long and close relationship with the Overtown Youth Center and is honored to support their vital mission to help the youth of Overtown. The Overtown Youth Center provides a positive place for children and teens, and they are helping to change lives. This grant by Wexford Science & Technology underscores the UM Life Science & Technology Parkâ€™s commitment to Overtown by supporting the good work this wonderful organization does in this community,â€ commented Juan Carlos Del Valle, University of Miami Director of Government Affairs.
Photograph attached (Names listed from left to right below)
Back Row: Leo Toca, Overtown Youth Center Advisory Board Member; Bill Diggs, Chairman Alonzo Mourning Charities; Phillip Bacon, Overtown Youth Center Advisory Board Member; Vincent L. Dimmock, CEO Alonzo Mourning Charities; Juan Carlos del Valle, University of Miami Director of Government Affairs; Keith Fletcher, Director of the University of Miami William R. Butler Center for Service & Leadership; Stephan Marino, Overtown Youth Center Advisory Board Member; and Andre Crenshaw, Overtown Youth Center Advisory Board Member.
Front Row: Misty Brown, Chief of Staff Commissioner Audrey Edmondsonâ€™s Office; Heather Bailey, Overtown Youth Center Advisory Board Member; Natasha d. Mayne, Vice Chair of Overtown Youth Center Advisory Board; Jodi Silva, Chair of Overtown Youth Center Advisory Board; Lisa Wooten, Overtown Youth Center Advisory Board Member; and Michelle Surtain, Overtown Youth Center Advisory Board Member.
About Overtown Youth Center: The Overtown Youth Center (OYC) provides services to children and families who reside in the Overtown community of Miami, Florida â€“ the poorest communities in one of the nationâ€™s poorest cities. The Overtown Youth Center was the vision of local real estate developer Martin Z. Margulies. Through the Margulies Foundation, he built the Overtown Youth Center with the support of Alonzo Mourning in hopes of creating a safe haven for the children in Overtown. Opening in early 2003, the Overtown Youth Center (OYC) is a state-of-the-art facility located in the heart of Miami’s inner city. The Center co-locates academic and recreational activities in a safe environment, working with children, families, and schools from grade 2 to graduation. The Overtown Youth Centerâ€™s goal is to be an integral part of the community by delivering enrichment services that foster hope and promote life-long learning and success for our inner-city youth and citizens. Our goal is to help build a child who is resilient.
Today, Overtown is a community rife with risk factors:
Â· Overtown has by far the lowest median household income of any of Miamiâ€™s communities, at $13,212.
Â· Out of approximately 10,000 residents, only about 3 percent are gainfully employed.
Â· Only 1 out of every 12 youth graduate from high school.
Â· Over half of residents and more than 65 percent of children live below the poverty level, compared to 26 percent for Miami-Dade County.
Â· 60 percent of all households are single-parent.
Â· A 2006 study of the adult male population in Overtown discovered that two-thirds have been in prison, one-forth have been homeless, 40 percent use illegal drugs regularly, and 60 percent drink alcohol several times per day. Also, 60 percent report feeling restless, overwhelmed, and/or worthless most of the time.
Â· Additionally the rates of teenage pregnancy, juvenile arrest, gang violence, child abuse and neglect, and substance abuse are more than three times those of Miami-Dade County, which are already higher than national averages.
OYC provides services to youth who currently attend public schools in our Overtown, as well as their families. Approximately 95 percent of participants qualify for Title I services. All attend schools that have received a D or an F from the Florida Department of Education in the last few years, with significantly lower than average test scores and higher than average rates of student absence. A large majority of our students enroll in our program at least two years behind; an alarming number cannot read nor do basic calculations. Many of our students come from families with compounded issues that impact their ability to perform well in school. Several are without consistently supportive adult figures in their lives.
For more information on the Overtown Youth Center visit us at www.overtownyouthcenter.org.
About Wexford Science & Technology, LLC: Wexford Science & Technology is a Maryland based, privately held real estate developer and investment company that specializes in the planning, development, construction and sophisticated financial structuring of complex research space for non-profit clients including universities, university affiliated research parks, and healthcare systems and corporations.
About Urban Research Park CDE, LLC: Urban Research Park CDE, LLC (URP) is a CDFI Fund certified Community Development Entity. Since 2007, URP has received $140 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocations. URP sells the federal tax credits to investors, then loans 98% of the proceeds at very low interest rates and favorable terms to finance real estate projects in Low Income Communities. The remaining 2% of the allocation is used to make a grant to nonprofit entities that provide services to low income persons in the community in which the project is located.
For more information about Wexford and the UM Life Science & Technology Park visit www.umlsp.com.Thank you for using Soul Of Miami!