FCI news header
photo header


Parramore Kids Zone

30 for 30: All Parramore Kidz Zone Seniors Plan to Head to College

Student with Mom 

Students, their families and staff gathered for a College Signing Day and Awards Ceremony that celebrated all 30 Parramore Kidz Zone high school seniors who will be continuing their education after graduation.


I want to congratulate our 30 PKZ seniors on their accomplishments and their decision to continue their education. The students will be moving on to schools throughout the state, including UCF, Florida, Florida A&M, Florida State and Valencia College, as well as institutions across the country like Clark-Atlanta and Southern Illinois.


The celebration coincides with First Lady Michelle Obama's new Reach Higher initiative, which strives to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional-training program, community college or a four-year college or university.


PKZ is a City resource for the students in the Parramore neighborhood, giving them access to tutors and counselors to help them excel academically.


PKZ helps make this possible by leveling the playing field for youth in Parramore, investing in things that make a difference in children's lives - such as quality early-childhood education, after-school programs, programs that build family economic success, youth development programs for teenagers, access to health care and mentoring.

PKZ Logo 

The academic banquet also recognized younger students for their academic success. Hopefully they will be inspired by the high school seniors and will also want to attend college in the future.


- Buddy Dyer, Mayor



Brad Mason, member of the Board of Directors of longtime PKZ partner New Image Youth Center posted the message below celebrating the graduation of Parramore's Robertson Bassey from Morehouse College:

Robertson Bassey

Robertson Bassey, College Graduate

For those who wonder why someone volunteers their time for New Image Youth Center when there are so many other things going on in life and so much competition for time, this is it. It's about helping kids achieve their dreams in an environment where so many dreams die. It's about realizing YOU'RE the one inspired by children you seek to inspire, watching them accomplish so much in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. It's about maintaining hope that naturally exists in EVERYONE, but somehow gets lost in neighborhoods like Parramore as children become adults. It's about creating an environment where kids feel safe enough to dream, secure enough to see ahead, and giving them the tools and confidence to go get what they see.

Today, Robertson Bassy graduated from Morehouse College with strength, amazing dreams, and the New Image Youth Center family beaming with pride in his accomplishment - with him today, and everywhere he goes! Congratulations, Robertson. 



New Town Success Zone

Success Zone Selected to Participate in the CBPR Partnership


The New Town Success Zone was recently selected to participate in a nationwide, year-long capacity building opportunity for "community-academic" teams focused on improving health equity.


The CBPR Partnership Academy is an integrated one-year research education program which brings together community-academic pairs from across the country to engage in an intensive week-long CBPR course and Detroit URC Logoongoing mentored learning activities throughout the year in order to foster collaborative research using innovative methods in the behavioral and social sciences to promote health equity. The Academy is being facilitated by community and academic partners involved in the Detroit URC and affiliated CBPR partnerships. "This announcement further deepens our work and commitment to the work of the Success Zone. 


Anytime you can have an academic lens of this magnitude placed upon your work it speaks volumes to those who may have some hesitations about your or even those funders who may want to support you," said Dr. Cohen upon hearing the announcement. 


For more information about the CBPR Partnership Academy visit http://www.detroiturc.org/programs/academy.html 



TD Bank Foundation and Volunteers support New Town Community Garden

Volunteers from Wells Fargo and the local United Way partnered with residents from the New Town Success Zone for the Annual Martin Luther King Day of Service to plant fruits and vegetables in the local community garden. "This was a way for us to give back to the community and a way for me and my family to do something in the spirit of the man who gave his life for the service of others," said Connie Edwards who came out to volunteer. Community Garden


"We are always appreciative when people from outside of the community come and not only see the work we are doing to take care of our community, but to be a part of the work," said Tora Powell, community resident and garden manager.


The New Town Success Zone Community Garden is a communal response to the lack of a full-service grocery store in the area. Residents volunteer their time and effort to maintain the garden in return the garden serves as a source of free fresh fruits and vegetables to residents. Edward Waters College donated the .5 acre lot the community garden sits on.


"Our aim is to develop several other locations within the New Town Garden VegetablesSuccess Zone to serve as community gardens and free, healthy food sources for the families that call the area home," said Dr. Irvin PeDro Cohen. "We ultimately want them to serve as learning labs for the children during the summer and over school breaks," he went on to say.


The charitable arm of TD Bank recently awarded the New Town Success Zone an environmental grant to support the work of the New Town Success Zone Community Garden. "We are truly grateful that TD Bank saw value in the work we are doing with the Community Garden and decided to provide us with financial support to continue the effort, said Dr. Cohen.


The grant will go to support the New Town Success Zone Community Garden as a learning lab and summer job opportunity for neighborhood kids over the summer. Ten neighborhood kids will spend 2 hours per day TD Bank Logoin the classroom learning information relative to the garden and 2 hours volunteering in the garden. Each young person will be compensated $50.00 per week with half of the dollars being placed in a matching savings account. At the end of the summer the amount saved will be matched by supporters of the program.


"The aim of much of our work is to make the classroom come alive for the students we work with and the support from TD bank allows to do that this summer," Dr. Cohen went on to say.  

New Town Success Zone Logo


Miami Children's Initiative

Bill Clinton in his Element 

President Bill Clinton in community garden

Watching Bill Clinton stroll through a public housing project in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood, it would be easy for the average passerby to forget the former president's most recent days of campaigning are years behind him.


Clinton was in his element, sporting a tucked in, pale blue Clinton Global Initiative t-shirt and fire red tennis shoes. Flanked by people, the former MCI Logopresident took too many selfies to count, asked questions of most every person and laughed when people shouted, "What's going on Bill?" from their windows.


Clinton was in Miami for the Clinton Global Initiative University annual meeting, a gathering of more than 1,000 overachieving millennials with philanthropic projects to pitch the foundation. Sunday's visit to Liberty City, an impoverished, primarily African-American neighborhood of Miami, was the meeting's final event -- a day of service with the Miami Children's Initiative.

President Bill Clinton

Clinton walked through the eight-block neighborhood as hundreds of CGI volunteers painted basketball courts, fixed gym equipment and planted vegetables.To read the rest of the article,visit: http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/08/politics/bill-clinton-2016-campaigning/index.html 

Clinton Gloabal Initiative University Logo


The Liberty City Renaissance- OneUnited Mural Project


OneUnited Mural Project brings together OneUnited Bank and the Miami Children's Initiative for a public art works, youth development, community beautification program providing art enrichment through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) learning.


The OneUnited Mural Project is a project-based apprenticeship for Liberty City youth. This spring, a select cohort of 21 teens worked with established, local artist and muralist Addonis Parker who is creating a public work of art utilizing the OneUnited Bank building located at Northwest 79th Street, Liberty City, Miami, as the canvas.


The OneUnited Mural, "Thunder and Enlightening," by Addonis Parker will be unveiled in a public ceremony on July 11th, 2015 at 5:00 PM at OneUnited Bank, 3275 NW 79th St. Miami, FL. With the Liberty City Renaissance initiative, OneUnited not only supports community development through their financial services but, brings pride, hope and the arts to youth and the community.


Opera Grows in Liberty City

children in costume 

Opera Grows in Liberty City is the most recent component incorporated into the Miami Children's Initiative (MCI) Liberty City Renaissance project. As part of MCI's community beautification and cultural enrichment, Liberty City Renaissance has brought together Orchestra Miami and African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (AHCAC) to provide children ages 5 and up with a unique and engaging after-school enrichment program and performance experience. The program ran 5 days a week, 4 hours a day, including 1.5 hours of tutoring/homework help and 2 hours of classes in performing arts: dance, drawing, theater, creative design, chorus, percussion, music theory, and mask making.  As a culminating project, students from Liberty City performed with a live orchestra, professional and amateur opera singers in a full production of Noah's Flood at Miami Northwestern High School.

Teen Employment Program


MCI is launching its Teen Employment Program this summer for teens living in MCI's Impact Zone in Liberty City. This summer, youth ages 14 to 18 have the opportunity to participate in MCI's 5-week summer program. MCI will kick off the summer with an intensive 1-week training program that will address both personal and professional development. It will include mental toughness, conflict resolution, interpersonal skills and self-esteem as well as a professional component to address office etiquette and skills in order to prepare the teens for their internship placements.  Once the teens complete this initial training, they will then be placed in a paid 4-week internship at either MCI or another organization within the network. While they are working within these organizations, they will be regularly evaluated and given feedback on their performance.


Additionally, teens face many challenges in their day-to-day lives and can greatly benefit from a dedicated time to focus on themselves, their self worth and areas for improvement. They also need a safe space to share, connect and support one another. MCI will be building upon the summer training program and continue to facilitate the personal growth of the teens in the Impact Zone by hosting a workshop series throughout the year.