Communities In Schools of Jacksonville’s VetSuccess AmeriCorps program hosted an event called Celebrating African Americans in the Military on February 26th and 27th at the Joseph Stilwell Military Academy of Leadership. The event promoted the students understanding of the challenges the African Americans in the military faced since the beginning of the United States, the contributions they made, the great strides they have made, and the opportunities that all young people have due to those brave men and women who have served.
The event brought in guest speakers for two-days to give presentations. A luncheon took place to allow students to open discussions between the guests and students. The guests were able to share personal experiences and also learn about the career goals of the students while providing advice.
The event overall impacted 870 students. Standford Taylor, a VetSuccess Americorps Member who coordinated the event believes that the event reminds students that the “choices they start making now have the potential to affect them later in their life, and the opportunities they are allowed to receive.”
Guest speakers included the following individuals:
- Montford Point Marines (1st African American Marines) with Corporal George McIvory a WW2 Veteran and Montford Point Marine
- Tuskegee Airmen represented by Lt. Colonel Emerson Mungin Jr USAF a Tuskegee Historian
- Buffalo Soldiers Historical Society led by Joe Tillman U.S. Army Veteran
- Tuskegee Airmen Major John Gay USAF
- Sailors from Naval Station Mayport and Naval Air Station Jacksonville
- Wounded Warrior and Mission Continues Member Tayden Haile USN
- Marines from Recruiting Station Jacksonville
The DREAM Project (Duval Reads Engaging America’s Military) is a new initiative under the DUVAL READS program that will focus on involving active duty military and veterans as volunteer mentors and tutors for military dependent students.
This bold new initiative has a two-fold purpose:
- To focus on improving the overall lives of our military youth through providing assistance in literacy and mentoring
- To connect the additional military community with opportunities to improve the city of Jacksonville and surrounding areas through service.
If you are a veteran or active military interested in volunteering, contact Roy Fallon at firstname.lastname@example.org.