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Secretary's Message

May 9, 2018

Secretary Daly’s Weekly Letter 

Last week was a productive and busy time for DJJ staff, our providers, and our stakeholders, as we continued our work in bettering the lives of Florida’s children and families.  I hope you will take a moment to read the stories about the accomplishments of our agency staff, our colleagues, and the youth in our care. 

As a reminder, don’t forget that I am always looking for opportunities to showcase the work you all do – on and off the clock – to enrich our communities. I know there is even more going on than what I report here, so I would like to encourage each of you to keep the weekly letter in mind and remember to share your good news. It’s easy – email news@djj.state.fl.us or call (850) 921–5900 by Thursday at noon. 


Christina K. Daly

Florida Keys Children’s Shelter Site Visit and Reception

Last Tuesday, Chief of Research and Data Integrity Mark Greenwald and I toured and attended a reception at the Florida Keys Children’s Shelter (FKCS) in Tavernier. The FKCS is a CINS/FINS program that is partially funded by DJJ and provides the best possible solutions for abused, abandoned or neglected children; and children that have run away, are truants, or are considered ungovernable by their parents.

Pictured above (from left to right): Mark Greenwald, Co-CEO Ben Kemmer of FKCS and myself

State Advisory Group Holds Quarterly Meeting

I was pleased to give the opening remarks to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group’s (SAG) quarterly meeting on April 30 in Fort Lauderdale. During my remarks I thanked the SAG members for their service to the Department, support of our reform efforts and their dedication to improving the lives of the children and families we serve.

The meeting proceeded with presentations from Statewide Circuit Advisory Board (CAB) Coordinator Tina Levene and Delinquency Prevention Specialist Marie Boswell. Tina provided a briefing on CAB initiatives and programs while Marie shared details on the responsibilities of a prevention specialist and how it works in conjunction with the CAB and the SAG.

Pictured above (from left to right): SAG Vice Chair, Judge Daniel Dawson; SAG Chair, Dwayne Maddron; Secretary Daly; and Prevention Assistant Secretary Alice Sims.

The SAG concluded with a discussion of the Title II application and the recent compliance monitoring audit conducted by the National Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention before site visits to the Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center and the Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services. 

In addition, the SAG recognized their volunteers during their quarterly meeting in conjunction with April being National Volunteer Month. Assistant Secretary for Prevention and Victim Services Alice Sims recognized Dr. Genevia Boyd. Dr. Boyd is a former circuit advisory board member from Glades County who is revered as one of the most influential leaders in the state.

Pictured above (from left to right): Eugene Morris, DJJ State and Federal Director, Volunteer honorees Shyla Boyd, Jacqueline Willingham, Sheila Ford, Dr. Genevia Boyd, Keisha Whitaker and Alice Sims, Assistant Services, Prevention and Victim Services.

A former school teacher for 22 years and a current Senior Pastor, Dr. Boyd is very passionate about making a difference in the lives of others and helps people build positive solutions for their future through various conferences, workshops and seminars.

In 1981, she founded People Who Care, Inc., a non-profit, community-based organization that 

provides counseling, leadership training and educational programs.  Through these programs leaders have been cultivated whom today have excelled in careers such as ministry, business, political and community activism. In addition, Dr. Boyd is a trailblazer founding two prominent dance schools in the Glades County region: Miracle Deliverance School of Liturgical Dance and Genevia Boyd Liturgical Dance Company. Members of Dr. Boyd’s network were also recognized during the meeting, including: Shyla Boyd, Jacqueline Willingham, Sheila Ford and Keisha Whitaker.

Staff Announcement and Kudos

Congratulations to Administrative Assistant Kierra McManness from the Southwest Regional Juvenile Detention Center who was named the Support Staff Employee of the Month for the South Region for the month of April. McManness is the newest administrative assistant for the office of administration and has worked hard to expedite the discipline and hiring processes in addition to overseeing inventory. McManness was presented with a certificate of appreciation and a gift card by Southwest Superintendent Dennis Driscoll.

Heather Lawton, Transition Specialist for Project Connect in Circuit 8 has been named Project Connect Employee of the Quarter for the 1st quarter of 2018!  Heather is a tireless advocate for the youth she serves and is very creative in seeking pro-social connectivity for them.  Heather was awarded recently during a luncheon held for her in Gainesville.  Ironically, Heather’s husband Richard was himself awarded JPO of the Quarter for Circuit 8 by Chief Probation Officer Rebecca Rogers earlier the same week!  So, the dynamic husband and wife duo are both reigning EOQ’s for their respective agencies/programs.  Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Lawton!  Well deserved! 

Heather Lawton, Transition Specialist for Project Connect in Circuit 8 has been named Project Connect Employee of the Quarter for the 1st quarter of 2018!  Heather is a tireless advocate for the youth she serves and is very creative in seeking pro-social connectivity for them.  Heather was awarded recently during a luncheon held for her in Gainesville.  Ironically, Heather’s husband Richard was himself awarded JPO of the Quarter for Circuit 8 by Chief Probation Officer Rebecca Rogers earlier the same week!  So, the dynamic husband and wife duo are both reigning EOQ’s for their respective agencies/programs.  Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Lawton!  Well deserved! 

Juvenile Probation Officer Academy Graduation Ceremony

Congratulations to the newest juvenile justice detention and probation officers who graduated from the Florida Public Safety Institute on April 13th.  Thanks to Tim Niermann, deputy secretary for the Department of Juvenile Justice, for being our guest speaker and Conrad McCray, superintendent for Leon RJDC, for presenting the Oath of Office. Kudos to Learning Consultant Christina Ash and Senior Learning Consultant Duane Pace for training the officers in these positions of critical responsibility.


First Row: Teri Rodgers, Timothy Dixon, Ruth Rivera, Darlene Tamariz, Shykerria Reed, Patricia Williams, Jesus Armenta

Second Row:  Instructor Duane Pace, Claudine Jean, Romario Thomas, Eartha White, Reanna Jones, Robert Tusay


Front Row: Daniel Caro, Fantasia Chambers, Dorothy Denizard, Sandra Martinez, Joelle Patterson, Monique Russell, Hayley Campbell, Breanna Robinson

Middle Row:  Melissa Sprowes, Brittany Biddings, Theresa Parrish, Julhiann Francis-Singh, Morgan Driver, Ashley Epling, Kristin Hopton, Marcus Brimage

Back Row:  Anne French-Herrera, Scottie McClary, Thomas Bruns, Ryan Bullard, Christopher Barkman, Fenel Etienne, Krista Johnson, Joyce Britt

Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation Provides Funding to Update Girls Mod

As many of you know, we have been making major changes to the look and feel of the mods inside of our detention facilities. These changes are in line with our trauma-informed care initiatives, to give our youth a more inviting and softer place to wind down. Recently, the Orange Regional Juvenile Detention Center transformed their girls’ mod with the help of a grant from the Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation (FJJF). The FJJF provided the funds necessary to update the girl’s mod at Orange and even provided the stuffed animals. On behalf of DJJ and the Orange Detention Center, I would like to thank the FJJF for making this happen.

The Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation is  a 501(c)3 not-for-profit and serves as the direct-support organization for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. To learn how you can support FJJF in their mission to improve the lives of the youth we serve and their families, please visit here.

PACE Center Collier Celebrates Milestone Anniversary

The PACE Center for Girls Collier at Immokalee celebrated its twentieth anniversary on March 28 with a reception at the Naples Grande Beach Resort. Since its inception back in 1998, the PACE Collier Center has served over 2000 young women, and just last year, their success rate stood at a whopping 97% of girls remaining crime-free. During the ceremony, the facility honored a loyal employee who has been with the facility since they opened their doors, Academic Coordinator Floreida Ocanas.

Among the community engagement projects performed by PACE girls are bi-weekly service at the Guadalupe Center. The Guadalupe Center began in 1982 with a group of clergy and lay people working together to help deserving families in Immokalee. The group raised more than $200,000 to remodel a building owned by the Catholic Church of Immokalee to serve as a soup kitchen to feed the hungry.

Pictured above: Marianne Kearns, Executive Director (left) and Floreida Ocanas, Academic Coordinator

When it became apparent there was a need for educational programs for children falling behind in school, an after-school tutoring program began operation in the soup kitchen. Still, the soup kitchen continued to serve over 35,000 hot meals each year and their social services programs grew to include a clothing room and shower program. 

Thanks to a core group of volunteers these social services continue today and meet the immediate needs of families in Immokalee.

The PACE girls work in the clothing closet to give individuals complete outfits to include pants, shirts, socks, and under shirts. This has been an ongoing partnership and one all parties enjoy. 

PACE Collier enables these young women to complete their education, build self-esteem, and develop personal, social and family relationship skills. The PACE Collier Center strives to provide these services and more in a safe and loving environment.

Delinquency Prevention Specialist Marie Boswell and Senior Juvenile Probation Officer Natacha Monestime attended the book signing for “The Backstory of a New Reality,” by Dr. Shirley Plantin on April 14 at the North Miami Library. Dr. Plantin has years of experience, direct and indirect, in working with and advocating for youth and families. “The Backstory of a New Reality” unveils complex and unfiltered truths about urban youth violence and dispenses practical insight to youth advocates from all professional and personal backgrounds. 

Many professionals who work with urban at-risk youth don’t know the extent of the harsh reality these children are living, which ultimately makes their programs, services, and interactions with the youth ineffective. The book contains the down-to-earth and grim information that professionals in several sectors need to know in order to make a positive and lasting impact in the lives of youth and the families that they serve.

Pictured above: Marie Boswell (left) and Dr. Shirley Plantin, Author, “The Backstory of a New Reality”

Detention Facility Welcomes County Commissioner 

The Leon Regional Juvenile Detention Center welcomed Leon County Commissioner John Dailey for a site visit. Commissioner Dailey is a staunch supporter of reinstating the facility advisory board at the detention center. He shared with Leon Superintendent Conrad McCray his vision about how the newly formed advisory board can help both the facility and the youth in Circuit 2.

Thank you, Commissioner Dailey, for visiting our center and taking a vested interest in the services we provide youth and families! 

The Escambia Regional Juvenile Detention Center recently transformed their dining hall into a softer, friendlier environment. The mural was based off the Disney film “Finding Nemo,” but changed just a little bit to “Finding Nutrition.” Hidden in the painting of the fish are pictures from the four key food groups for healthy nutrition.

Major Regina Berry and Captains Sylvester Scott and Daryl Bolton from the Escambia Regional Juvenile Detention Center attended a law enforcement appreciation celebration at Marcus Pointe Church in Pensacola. The event, which included a luncheon and awards ceremony, invited all officers from corrections, law enforcement and detention agencies to attend and was geared towards saving the lives of troubled youth.  United States Congressman Matthew Gaetz was the keynote speaker.

Pictured above (from left to right): Capt. Sylvester Scott, Representative Matthew Gaetz, Major Berry and Capt. Daryl Bolton

Probation Youth With AMIkids Construct a Game Room And Make Music

DJJ vocational students from AMIkids Orlando put their construction skills to the test as they completed the addition of a game room on the grounds of the facility. As you can see by these photos, their dedication to construction is astonishing and proves to each young man who worked on this project that they have skills they never even knew they had.

In addition, students from AMIkids Orlando toured the Apple store at the Mall of Millennia to learn about the recent advances in music technology. AMIkids partners with Apple to show our students career opportunities in the digital world. During the tour, the Apple tech encouraged the students to play with the software and create their own musical compositions. AMI Executive Director Wanda Walker was in attendance and was taken aback by the amount of talent she saw with her students. She is excited to see what can be created through the facility’s partnership with Apple.

I am pleased to share the following success story from the Eckerd Connects Project Bridge program in Ocoee:

Lavar McNair had the opportunity on April 27th to tour Valencia College with Eckerd Connects Project Bridge.  This youth has successfully applied for Valencia’s West Campus, requested transcripts from high school for admissions purposes, submitted his FAFSA application, toured the campus and applied for a scholarship through Eckerd Connects. This youth will graduate in just a few short weeks from Ocoee High School with a GPA of 3.2, and he is graduating a year earlier than expected.  He is motivated, thought provoking and responsible. 

While completing his college application, the youth expressed many times he would have never been where he is with college enrollment without the work of Project Bridge.  He is forever grateful and mentions frequently the influence and friendship of Home Builders Institute staff while enrolled in the PACT program. We are so excited for this young man, and for his current and future success.

The Twin Oaks Juvenile Development’s Project Connect Program hosted multiple events in the North Region to celebrate National Volunteer Week April 15-21. For Project Connect, it was a great opportunity to express gratitude for the hard work that volunteer mentors (called life coaches) do in the community each day to help brighten the lives of the youth in the program and provide community connectivity that leads to pro-social permanency. 

Project Connect staff prepared meals, provided certificates of service, trophies and plaques for tenured volunteers and shared success stories of the volunteer work that has been done in the program over the past four and a half years.  The importance of these volunteers in the transition success of the youth served cannot be overstated.  They are a valuable resource for youth and families throughout the north region.  Project Connect is very grateful for their service.

Bay Area Youth Services (BAYS) joined the JDAP team in Circuit 6 on a volunteer project with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Hillsborough County. The society brings basic food, clothing, medicine and shelter to those persons hit hard by a difficult situation such as a lost job, an illness or unexpected expense. Our crew of volunteers prepared food for lunch, which served over 125 people. They had a wonderful experience helping others in their community and it is obvious by the smiles on their faces that they serve others with joy in their hearts.

Circuit 5 probation staff attended the Circuit’s first local review team (LRT) meeting which brought together all of the state agencies that serve children to discuss interagency communication and coordination. The LRT was put in place by the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet who agreed that all state agencies and providers would have monthly meetings to discuss coordination on how better serve our youth. These agencies discussed mental and behavioral health procedures, data review and progress reports for Circuit 5 as well as the barriers between agencies and families. 

Probation staff in Circuit 7 welcomed DJJ Director of Human Trafficking Katherine Gomez to their offices on April 19. After a morning meeting with local Volusia County staff members, Gomez attended the human trafficking task force meeting in Bunnell where she gave a statewide update on human trafficking and met with stakeholders and agency heads encompassing all four counties of Circuit 7. Following the task force meeting, Gomez toured the Huger Adolescent Campus which included the BEACH House CINS/FINS shelter and the RAP Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Center in Daytona Beach. Director Gomez provided a plethora of information and Circuit 7 staff members thank her for her visit.

Pictured above (from left to right): JPO Kristin Hopton, Administrative Assistant Julie Saylor, Reform Specialist Zemetria Anderson, Administrative Assistant Theresa Evans, JPO Teresa Parrish, Senior JPO Stephen Perry, JPO Melissa Sprowes, Director of Human Trafficking Katherine Gomez, JPO Holly Sharp, JPO Jon Johnson, JPO Supervisor Bridget Orey, JPO Ashely Epling, JPO Dionne Cooper and Senior JPO Mark Brooks

Probation staff in Circuit 7 recognized April as Child Abuse Prevention Month by planting a pinwheel garden in front of the Lightner Museum Building and the St. Augustine City Hall. Staff planted over 150 pinwheels along with explanatory signs about child abuse awareness. Pinwheel gardens represent the efforts to educate the community and put focus on activities which support families and public policies that prioritize prevention of abuse. In addition, staff also attended the St. Augustine City Commission meeting on April 23 where Mayor Nancy Shaver proclaimed April as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month in St. Augustine.

I am pleased to share a letter that was sent to our probation office in Circuit 8 from a youth who was very appreciative of the care he received from Senior Juvenile Probation Officer Felicia Moore and Probation Officer Jessica Pena. It reads:

Everything that has happened to me has been hard to deal with but I have overcome everything and I’m on a path to success.  It’s not just because of me it’s also from a lot of people that pushed me to do better.  The first person I want to say thank you to is my mom because she has been there for me since day one.  I also want to thank my JPO’s Mrs. Moore and Ms. Pena for always having faith in me and telling me that I can do better and that I am a smart kid.  That this is something to make me learn what not to do and for being on my back 24/7 about me getting everything done.  Honestly without her I would’ve not made it this far with doing everything I needed to do.  So, thank you Ms. Pena for motivating me to be the best person I am today.

Circuit 9 probationary youth, under the direction of Community Worksite Coordinator Barbara McNealy, participated in a community service project to beautify the landscape surrounding the Pine Hills probation office as well as the Pine Hills Garden. The youth pulled vegetables from the garden that are being used to create care packages that will be donated to the Sister to Sister food pantry.

Reform Specialist Natalie Montgomery from Circuit 10 hosted a DJJ resource table during the Mentoring Day Celebration sponsored by the Lakeland Police Athletic League (PAL) on April 2. The event was titled “Filling Playgrounds not Prisons,” and brought together community and youth organizations throughout Polk County to provide information on resources, programs, educational programs, athletic programs, summer activities and camps that appeal to children and families.

Juvenile Probation Officer Deadre Jones from Circuit 12 attended a luncheon focused on the current opioid crisis and how families can cope on April 28 at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex in Sarasota. The luncheon featured guest speakers from Drug Free Sarasota and Selah Freedom.

Pictured above: JPO Deadre Jones (left) and Kameroon Boykins, Prevention Coordinator with Drug Free Sarasota

DJJ Student Participates in Regional Speech Competition

A DJJ youth from Crestview Youth Academy recently competed in the regional finals of the Research and Speech Essay contest sponsored by the Able Trust’s Florida High School High Tech (HSHT) program. The youth’s speech was centered on his career dream of building a non-profit organization to support those youth who have lost one or both of their parents and need extra encouragement to become successful. He believes that this organization will help give hope and opportunities to those youth who are coping with loss much like his own situation.

The goals of the HSHT speech contest are to: develop research, public speaking, and communication skills of students, which are critical to successful employment and self-advocacy; and, introduce students to policy topics relevant to all Floridians.

MQI Holds Peer Review Training in the South Region

On April 25 and 26, the Bureau of Monitoring and Quality Improvement’s (MQI) South Region held a Certified Peer Reviewer Training session in Ft. Lauderdale. The Certified Peer Reviewer Training is a two-day event which provides an in-depth review of the MQI process, including an overview of all MQI standards, rating definitions, debriefing process, and basics of writing an annual compliance report. Participants will receive elective credit hours in SkillPro for attending and passing the Certified Peer Reviewer Training. All training sessions were taught by the Bureau’s regional monitors and regional monitoring supervisors. Participants from across the state included contracted provider staff and Department program area staff. Certified Peer Reviewer Training is available twice a year for all Department staff and contracted provider staff who are interested in learning more about the MQI process and assisting the Bureau of Monitoring and Quality Improvement when conducting on-site annual compliance reviews. If you are interested in becoming a Certified Peer Reviewer, please ensure you have taken the Department’s Motivational Interviewing training as it is a pre-requisite for the Certified Peer Reviewer Training. The next Certified Peer Reviewer Training session will be held in Fall 2018. 

Residential Youth Celebrate Graduation and Attend Poetry Night

Last week, the Department partnered with Dr. Mimi Graham and Florida State University’s Center for Prevention and Early Intervention Policy (CPEIP) to offer training on a research-based, home-visitation curriculum for expectant and new mothers.  The FSU Partners for a Health Baby curriculum is unique in that it addresses issues of child health and development within the context of the multifaceted needs of expectant and parenting families.   

This two-day training provided girl-serving residential commitment programs with the knowledge and skills needed to educate the youths who are pregnant or who have children at home.  This training emphasized a baby’s development, how to foster nurturing relationships, recognizing a baby’s developmental milestones, and available community resources.  The skills learned will be practiced and refined in the program and the girls will be able to utilize the skills with confidence upon their return to the community.

Last month, at Daytona Juvenile Residential Facility, a secure program for boys, ages 13 to 18, which is operated by TrueCore Behavioral Solutions, youth M.G. earned his GED.  This is an accomplishment he thought he would never see, as his last grade attended was the 8th.

For Marquez, he enjoys going to school; he likes to learn. His favorite subject is math. He chuckles when he explains why, “I don’t want anyone to finesse me about my money.”    Marquez credits his educational accomplishments to Mr. Midgette & Mr. Jack as they encouraged him daily throughout his GED Journey. “I can be something today if I apply myself,” says Marquez.  Marquez wants to further his education by enrolling in college with pursuits of becoming a physical therapist or an orthodontist.  Marquez leaves a piece of sound advice to his peers – talk to the educational staff and just be honest; tell them what’s going on, and Mr. Midgette will help you. If it is an issue with you getting your education, Mr. Midgette will definitely help you.   Mr. Crenshaw (FA) added: “I believe that our youth are our future, and education is the key to their success. I make it a priority to walk the halls daily of our Education Department to ensure the youth are doing what they are supposed to be doing, and that is working towards educational success!”

Five youth from Duval Academy, a non-secure program for boys, ages 14 to 18, which is operated by Sequel, attended Verbal Essence at Azucena Deli in downtown Jacksonville. This is a night of spoken word, music and live singing. Four of the youth read poems they had written. They did an amazing job and showed a different side of themselves. Their poems were about struggles they have been through and things they have done. The crowd showed them lots of love and support, and we are so proud of them for having the courage to speak their thoughts in front of a crowd.

In the middle of April, Duval Academy held a graduation ceremony for the youth and dogs in the TAILS Program. TAILS stands for Teaching Animals and Individuals Life Skills. This was a pilot program at Duval Academy and was started with six youth and three dogs, “Penny”, “Shiloh” and “Beauty.” Ms. Jen Deane leads the TAILS program in several adult correctional facilities and wanted to share her program, which teaches the youth trainers how to work with the dogs. This program had a huge impact on the culture of Duval Academy. The dogs showed the youth unconditional love and the youth learned patience, compassion, problem solving and team work skills. The youth will leave Duval Academy with certificates of completion for their role as trainer and handler while in the TAILS program. This can help the youth get a job working with animals in the future. Duval Academy is excited to continue this program and see the amazing impact the boys have on the dogs and the impact the dogs have on the boy’s lives.

Hastings Comprehensive Mental Health Treatment Program and Gulf Academy, both of which are non-secure programs for boys and are operated by TrueCore Behavioral Solutions, took a trip to the St. Augustine Alligator farm and Zoological Park with six youth. The youth were able to interact and witness alligators and crocodiles of all shapes and sizes. There were also birds of prey and a serpentarium where a king cobra was beginning to build a nest for an upcoming birth. The youth were amazed at the amount of alligators at the park and the bravery of the workers who would go

into their habitat to interact and feed them by hand.

Hastings and Gulf Academy took seven youth to Cracker Barrel Restaurant and Old Country Store in St. Augustine. The youth were treated to a variety of food from pancakes, eggs and bacon, to country fried steak, mashed potatoes, and green beans. The youth who participated were selected for their recent progress on their latest treatment team and have shown great leadership qualities on their dorms.

Cypress Creek, a secure program for boys, ages 15 to 21, which is operated by TrueCore Behavioral Solutions, held a contest for all youth to create a dorm game.  The youth were given poster board, construction paper, and coloring pencils.  They could also use whatever supplies they had on their dorm.  Alpha Dorm won the contest and created “Program Monopoly”.  Daily these youth are utilizing their program board and challenging staff in the game as well.

Last month, students from Alachua Academy, a non-secure program for girls, ages 12 to 18, which is operated by Sequel, enjoyed “Skating the Day Away” at Skate Station Funworks in Gainesville, FL.  They had a wonderful time remembering the fun times when they skated the night away.  Many of the students stated, “this trip reminded them of when they were younger.”  The smiles on the students faces were encouraging and it was awesome to witness their talents in the skating rink.

DJJ provides education and training through the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute Associates' annual conference.  This year the education training conference was held in Jacksonville and provided information, education and assistance to law enforcement and criminal justice agencies on law enforcement and first responder suicide and signs of suicide and the steps that can be taken to prevent it.  Panel discussions were held with sheriffs and their representatives participating as well as a discussion on the impact Pulse Nightclub has had on law enforcement and communities at large.  The conference focused on leadership development and was very informative.  It also provided those who attended an opportunity to network and share ideas with others in various agencies. NE Regional Director Billy Starke had the opportunity to meet with classmates from FDLE's Senior Leadership Program Class #20.  Participation in this conference shows that DJJ is moving forward in developing its leaders!

National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day was observed at Miami Youth Academy, a non-secure program for boys, ages 14 to 18, which is operated by TrueCore Behavioral Solutions.

Annually on April 20th Americans have been enjoying this springtime cake since the early 1900s when many cakes were made in cast iron skillets.

Youth first earn the marketable ServSafe food handler certification and then had the opportunity to do "cool crafts" in culinary vocational education while learning about the culinary profession and foodservice industry.

Special thanks to Ms. D. Sanchez, vocational instructor and educator with Miami Dade County Schools – Educational Alternative Outreach Program (EAOP) for her continued exceptional service to our youth and program.

What a sweet way to end a productive week!