It was a little over a year ago when I joined City Council members in a classroom to sign legislation creating the Kids Hope Alliance (KHA). I still remember the sign over the whiteboard that read, “No Slacking Any Time.”
My administration and the KHA team took that message to heart. Since that day, we have worked diligently, spending scores of hours dedicated to improving services and outcomes for youth in our community.
Earlier this week, we launched KHA’s Essential Services Plan, a roadmap that details the goals and strategies we need to make Jacksonville a place where every child in every community has the tools, resources and opportunities to succeed.
Read the 2018 KHA Essential Services Plan
These efforts are a demonstration of my administration’s commitment to making youth a priority in our city. That commitment extends from my experiences as a father of three, and from my many interactions with inspiring young men and women throughout the city.
In those interactions, I learned a valuable lesson. Our kids are not “at-risk” they are “at-hope.” Jacksonville’s youth want to succeed, but they need an active and encouraging village to support them.
I thank the KHA CEO Joe Peppers, the board of directors, staff and the dedicated men and women on the front lines serving youth in our community for their contributions to this plan.
The plan and the people are in place, so now let’s continue the work. Our kids are counting on us, and we won’t let them down. “No Slacking Any Time.”