For nearly 23 years, the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation has been driven to improve the outcomes of young people in the Durkeeville community in Duval County. On June 27, their efforts to reach more students with a state-of-the art Teen Center were honored with a $500,000 community challenge grant awarded by THE PLAYERS Championship. PGA TOUR pro, Jim Furyk, joined MWYF Founder Mal Washington; THE PLAYERS’ Executive Director, Jared Rice; and Duval County Public Schools’ Superintendent, Diana Greene for the presentation.
Furyk, a champion in his own right, led students in a CHAMPIONS’ pledge where they committed to practices and behaviors that contribute to their success. Middle school students who commit to the pledge will have the opportunity to earn a $1,000 “Driven to Succeed” scholarship to further their education after high school.
“We have been fortunate to support the work of the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation for more than 15 years,” said Jared Rice, executive director, THE PLAYERS. “The outcomes that they are producing for kids throughout our community are incredible. They are truly making a difference. We are proud to support them in their efforts to reach more kids and improve more lives.”
In October, MWYF publicly announced a capital campaign to build a new Teen Center, filling a great need for space, programming and offerings that serve and support teens. The Teen Center will offer age-appropriate services including academic assistance, college preparation, job and leadership training and recreational activities. The new 13,000+ square foot facility will be located at Emmett Reed park, adjacent to the current Youth Center. The Teen Center will include classrooms, a teaching kitchen, technology room, recreational areas and administrative offices.
In honor of THE PLAYERS $500,000 contribution, the middle school wing of the Teen Center will be named THE PLAYERS. In addition, the funds will support a Driven to Succeed scholarship that will be awarded to a student who demonstrates champion-level behavior throughout the year.
“We are thrilled to have received such a generous gift from THE PLAYERS, our long-time partners,” said MaliVai Washington. “I hope others will rise to the challenge of matching this gift and support the new Teen Center that will benefit the community for years to come.”