feasible and sustainable so you can reach them!
spend a whole day together once a month.
will be tempted to engage in risky behaviors!
UthMpact Leadership is a unique program, spearheaded by InnerAct Alliance, StandUP Polk, UthMpact, business and community partners, to help teens develop crucial leadership skills. Members of UthMpact Leadership Class X have been able to take part in October & November Leadership Days, incorporating safe social distance protocols of course!
October’s UthMpact Leadership Day, themed “Volunteerism”, was a busy one! The teens visited with Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine to learn about the Annual Swan Derby, a community event featuring swan boat races, food, and live music to bring awareness to LVIM and its mission. Next, the leaders heard a very informative presentation at The Salvation Army in Lakeland and helped pack 150 kidsPACK boxes to feed homeless and under-served students when school is not in session. The busy youth donated items to the Dream Center of Lakeland’s COMMUNITY SHOPPE. The day’s agenda continued with stops at Parker Street Ministries to learn about its programs for growth in education, workforce readiness, desirable neighborhood, financial capacity and health/wellness, and VISTE, Volunteers in Service to the Elderly, where the students had fun decorating Thanksgiving bags for distribution.
November’s UthMpact Leadership Day featured a “Business” theme and the group’s first order of business was to assemble over 500 kidsPACK food boxes for students in need over the Thanksgiving Break. Then, it was off to Catapult Lakeland where the students learned about how the organization offers support, start-up resources, and educational programs for Lakeland’s entrepreneurs. The Poor Porker welcomed UthMpact teens for a great learning opportunity to hear guest speaker, Giovanna Favilli, chef/owner of Casita Verde, share how she launched her business with the help of Lakeland’s own Catapult Kitchen.
Third stop of the day took the students to the RP Funding Center, where the group enjoyed a behind the scenes facility tour and a Zoom chat with Lakeland Magic President, Hans Steinbrenner. Topping off UthMpact Leadership's Business Day was a trip to Polk County Waste & Recycling where the students learned about how they handle and decompose all of the county's trash and why certain items cannot be recycled.
In addition to monthly Leadership Days, UthMpact is creating awesome memes to celebrate the positives that most of Polk's youth are not engaging in risky behaviors and are doing the right thing. Members are also advocating for Mental Health & Wellness and added a new tab on the UthMpact website (www.UthMpact.org) to educate teens that mental illnesses are more common than most think - in fact, 1 in 6 youth experience a mental health disorder each year.
UthMpact sends a huge THANK YOU to our community partners for
helping to arrange and host these fun and informative Leadership Days!
We are all spending a lot of time with our families these days. Statistics show that parents and children who participate in activities together benefit in a variety of ways - building stronger relationships and fostering more effective communication. If you’re looking for fresh ways to fill the time with family fun over Holiday Break, here are 25 Creative Family Night Ideas, with online and offline options, shared by our friends at Messenger Kids. Put them on your fridge - they may come in handy next time you hear “I’m bored!”
This year has been challenging for everyone, so why not kick off the season of generosity by participating in GivingTuesday on December 1st and close out 2020 on a positive note!
GivingTuesday was launched in 2012 as a simple idea: to create a day that encourages people and organizations to give back by doing good. Over the past nine years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. People demonstrate generosity in many ways whether it’s helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving to causes we care about. Each act of generosity has the power to transform our communities and our world.
InnerAct Alliance and our coalition partners, StandUP Polk and UthMpact, are in need of donations to help bridge the shortfall in funding caused by COVID-19. Substance abuse prevention initiatives in the Lakeland and Polk County community include science-based education classes taught to nearly 15,000 students in 69 schools, as well as outreach to over 100,000 citizens via informative presentations and social norms marketing, a premier youth leadership program, and family-oriented awareness events such as the Annual Red Ribbon Campaign and motivational rallies for fifth-grade students countywide.
“Community engagement and support are vital to continue our agency’s programs to educate children, teens, and families about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, along with bullying prevention. Any and all donations will be appreciated!” said Angie Ellison, executive director of InnerAct Alliance.
There are 3 quick and easy options to send your donation:
1) Simply scan the QR code (above) with a phone camera
2) PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=UG8BET6TF2V28
3) Mail a check, payable to InnerAct Alliance, to 621 South Florida Ave, Lakeland, FL 33801
Written acknowledgement will be sent to donors upon receipt of their tax-deductible gift to InnerAct Alliance, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For questions about making a donation to InnerAct Alliance, please contact Angie Ellison at (863) 802-0777.
To read more about GivingTuesday, please visit www.givingtuesday.org. Your kind consideration is appreciated, and we wish you a safe, healthy, and Happy Holiday season!
InnerAct Alliance, and its youth coalition partner, UthMpact, are proud to be chosen as recipients of grant funding from the Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation, Inc. (FNGF), in Lake Wales, Florida, (www.floridasnatural.com) to address problems related to health, education and youth in the Citrus Belt of Florida.
InnerAct Alliance proposes to use the funds generously provided by the FNGF grant to support efforts of the UthMpact Leadership Program, which brings together distinguished young leaders representing every high school in the Polk County area and nearly every walk of life, to work proactively in schools and in the community. The youth leaders participate in extensive leadership training to prepare them to develop programs, activities, and services focused on creating positive change in their peer culture through social norms marketing, education, and philanthropy. The partnership between InnerAct Alliance and UthMpact has been successful in contributing to the steady decline in the abuse of alcohol among Polk County youth from 28% to 16% over the past 9 years.
UthMpact has formed two new committees in which members will endeavor to: 1) reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and promote self-care among teens; and 2) promote equity by “smashing common stereotypes” and championing tolerance. Members will create dynamic virtual messaging that features profiles of local teens who represent different ethnic and racial backgrounds and highlight their cultural differences while underscoring their similarities. Another objective will showcase mental health moments in which teens will share successful strategies to reduce stress with student peers and offer possible solutions and resources in the community.
“We are extremely grateful for the support of the Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation to help broaden the reach of UthMpact Leadership Program’s messaging and social norms efforts,” said Angie Ellison, executive director of InnerAct Alliance.
For additional information, please contact InnerAct Alliance and UthMpact at (863) 802-0777.