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Innovative Initiatives

The Genesis Center Provides STEM Afterschool Programming 

21st Century

The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida is proud to partner with The Genesis Center in Leesburg to provide afterschool programming that includes a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) component to increase the number of students entering STEM fields. Pastor Ken Scrubbs, the director of The Genesis Center, is committed to bridging the digital divide facing students from lower income families so they can develop the skills they will need to succeed in a twenty-first century workplace.


"We believe that access to STEM curriculum is very important. We want to provide students access to technologies that will help prepare them for the challenges of a global economy," says Pastor Scrubbs. Through partnerships with companies like DATAWIND, a leading provider of wireless web access products and services, The Genesis Center is able to provide students with access to tablets and other state of the art technology to promote hands-on learning.

Genesis Center STEM students  

Genesis STEM teachers develop and provide a rigorous curriculum that covers:

  • Robotics Engineering
  • Nutrition Science and Health Science (culinary arts programming, nutrition education)
  • Design and Engineering (Mr. Bill's Workshop, Woodworking)
  • Technology in Engineering (3D Printer, 3Doodler)
  • Mathematics and Accounting (Wells-Fargo Bank financial programming)
  • Aerospace Engineering and Astrophysics(NASA, Rocketry, Zero Robotics)

Genesis Center STEM students have also had several opportunities to Space Ship incorporate NASA into their curriculum. Fourth and fifth graders participated in NASA's Summer Innovation Program where they learned about space food and nutrition. The STEM students also participated in an overnight field trip to NASA's space shuttle Atlantis which included a tour and scavenger hunt.


The Genesis STEM program was recently nominated by the John F. Kennedy Space Center Education Division to be considered to host an in-flight educational downlink, which would allow students to talk to astronauts aboard the International Space Station. If selected, the Genesis youth will join other educational institutions across the nation in an in-flight downlink between September 2015 and March 2016.


To learn more about The Genesis Center STEM initiative, CLICK HERE.

Healthy Families Florida

Healthy Families Florida's New Executive Director Jennifer Ohlsen

Jennifer Ohlsen

The Ounce of Prevention Fund enthusiastically introduces Jennifer Ohlsen as the new executive director of Healthy Families Florida (HFF). Jennifer, who was formerly the HFF training manager, brings more than 20 years of experience, gleaned during her tenure at Capital Area Head Start and the Florida Department of Education Office of Early Learning, to her new position. 


She looks forward to continuing the strong partnership between HFF and the Florida District of Kiwanis, where she currently serves as district chair. She is also board member and chair of the Kiwanis Young Children Priority One and Service Learning Programs committees and directs the Capital City Kiwanis Club's annual Firecracker 5K.


A native of Davie, Jennifer moved to Tallahassee in 1992 to attend Florida State University where she earned both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Early Childhood Education. She is married to Michael and has two HFF Logo children; Jacob (14) and Kirstin (25). She is also a certified yoga instructor, which is how she stays centered with such an active family and work life.


Congratulations Jennifer! We are excited to support your efforts as you lead HFF into the future.  

Prevent Child Abuse Florida

Parent Leaders Recognized during National Parent Leadership Month

Florida Circle of Parents and the Florida Redlands Christian Migrant Association promoted National Parent Leadership Month by recognizing five outstanding parent leaders. Michelle Hoehn and Gail Dush were recognized by their Circle of Parents groups in Ocala and Javier Hernandez, Cipriano Mejia, and Filomena Ramirez were recognized by the Florida Redlands Christian Migrant Association. 


Parent Leadership is a strengths-based approach to family support founded on the belief that parents are most knowledgeable about their families and communities.  They can provide valuable insight into programs and community efforts that will benefit all children and families.  Parent leadership begins when organizations support the development of leadership skills in parents at the initiation of services and promote active parent participation in the organization's program planning, implementation and quality improvement activities. READ MORE HERE

Pinwheels for Prevention Event
Wear Blue Day Poster

Chris Evert Awards College Scholarship to Young Mom  

Tabitha Nagelschmidt and Chris Evert
Tabitha Nagelschmidt and Chris Evert

Tabitha Nagelschmidt of Okeechobee, Florida was recently awarded a Vitas Gerulaitis Memorial Scholarship from Chris Evert and the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida.  The Vitas Gerulaitis Memorial Scholarships are awarded each year to women who have participated in social service programs offered by the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida.  This scholarship program has empowered dozens of women to improve their lives, and the lives of their children, by pursuing their educational goals.

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Being a teen mom hasn't been easy, but Tabitha is grateful for all the support she has received and is determined to continue working hard to make her dreams come true. She plans to use this scholarship to complete the physical therapy assistant program at Indian River State College. READ MORE HERE 

Governor Rick Scott and Volunteer Florida Present Champion of Service Award to Douglas Sessions, Jr.

Doug Sessions Receives Award
Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Governor Rick Scott, Douglas Sessions, Jr., CFO Jeff Atwater, Secretary of Florida Department of Agriculture Adam Putnam

During a meeting of Florida's Cabinet, Governor Rick Scott and Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman recognized three champions of service from across the State of Florida: the ADT Corporation; Katelynd Todd, a student at the University of Florida; and Douglas Sessions of the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida.


Douglas Sessions, Jr. is President and CEO of the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, a public-private partnership that invests in innovative, community-based programs that serve at-risk children and their families. Doug has served the Ounce of Prevention Fund for twenty years, and under his guidance, the organization has grown to become a critical provider of innovative social service programming. Doug also currently serves as vice chair of the Florida Afterschool Network's board of directors and is an active member and leader at St. John's Episcopal Church in Tallahassee. 


Governor Scott said, "These Florida individuals and businesses have provided countless hours of selfless service to their neighbors and communities. Volunteering generates a positive and lasting impact on our entire state and we are grateful for the opportunity to recognize these three recipients with the Champion of Service Award." 

Employee of the Quarter
Douglas Session, Jr. and Stephanie Bull
Douglas Session, Jr. and Stephanie Bull

Congratulations to Stephanie Bull, the Ounce of Prevention Fund's Employee of the Quarter! Stephanie has been a Program Specialist with Healthy Families Florida (HFF) since 2008. Prior to joining HFF, she worked for the Department of Children and Families and Community Based Care. Her extensive experience with human services programs makes her an excellent asset to HFF.


Stephanie grew up in Tallahassee and has made it her lifelong home. She attended Florida State University where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Family, Child and Consumer Sciences. She is married with three daughters ages 17, 15 and 11. When she isn't working or attending her daughter's soccer games, she likes to read and enjoy a little well deserved solitude.


We would like to thank Stephanie for her dedication and commitment. We appreciate all her hard work!

In This Issue
Innovative Initiatives
Healthy Families Florida
Parent Leadership Month
Chris Evert Awards College Scholarship
Douglas Sessions, Jr. Receives Champion of Service Award
Employee of the Quarter
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Florida Children's Initiative

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