In order to highlight pockets of excellence across the country, the NNED selects a partner organization to highlight once a month. Florida Institute for Community Studies, Inc. (FICS) has been selected as the Partner of the Month for August.
FICS began by a combination of community advocates, students, professors and direct service workers in 2001. Since then it has developed a model that works at the community level to identify gaps and strengths. Through their community advisors, FICS uses those strengths to write plans and create effective programs that build resilience and keep youth out of gangs, help make people healthier, and HIV and Substance free. FICS’s reach extends to thousands of people per year, and have documented significant improvements in teen pregnancy reduction, violence prevention, improved community responsibility and reduced dependence on law enforcement, prisons, and healthcare systems. It’s estimated a conservative savings to the FICS community of $4.89 for every dollar spent on after school programs, meaning they have saved the community $3.2 million for youth. In terms of diabetics’ outcomes, FICS’s have documented a cost-savings of $782,811 per year. In 2018-9, FICS’ volunteers invested over 1200 hours in community clean-ups, gardening, mentoring/tutoring and teaching ESL. FICS served 160 youth in quality Out-of-School time programming and another 56 families with Partners in Well-Being, a holistic approach to mind-body balance and health (bienestar). The social media hash is #FICSCreates because they want to focus on creating: art, opportunity, wellness and resilient communities.
FICS serves as a facilitator in assisting the community by working across partners and groups in a way that allows youth, parents, researchers, community members, educators, and professionals to interact, exchange information and knowledge to create solutions. FICS is implementing Familia Adelante as an NNED partner in FY 2019.
A few of FICS’s programs include:
- Afterschool4Success: Mentoring program that builds STEAM, improves grades and prevents youth (7-17) from getting involved in risky behaviors.
- HIV/AIDS Education, Counseling, and Testing: Providing free RAPID HIV testing and services.
- Partners In Well-Being: Transforming the Morgan Recreation Center into a Community Wellness and Arts Center, creating and maintaining ways people can get access to health.
Learn more about the Florida Institute for Community Studies, and how they are partnering with communities across Florida to help them achieve their goals through research, education, training, services and the arts.
View a list of previous NNED Partners of the Month.