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Joining Forces with the
FLorida Sheriffs Youth Ranches
TAMPA, Fla. (October 5, 2015) - The Yob Family Foundation's mission is to fill the gaps, to take on the causes that are left behind and provide resources for children where they are needed most. The mission of the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch is to prevent delinquency and develop lawful, resilient, and productive citizens. The Sheriffs Youth Ranches philosophy of serving children first made them a perfect fit for the Yob Family foundation.
The Yob Family Foundation supports the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches philosophy of work, study, play and pray. The Yob Family Foundation has partnered with the Florida Aquarium to bring a multitude of children to the Aquarium. This partnership created a unique educational opportunity for 40 children from the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches to learn and experience all the interactive exhibits the aquarium has to offer.
The Yob Family Foundation has also facilitated the opportunity for 100’s of children to watch Tampa Bay Lightning games as well as many concerts and other events at Amalie Arena. “To provide children with opportunities like these keeps our foundation motivated” said Jon Yob, President and Founder of the Yob Family Foundation.
Wayne Witczak, Director of Development for the Sheriffs Youth Ranch made Jon Yob & the Yob Family Foundation a lifetime honorary member of the Florida Sheriffs Association as a thank you for the generosity of the Yob family foundation over the years. Witczak later stated, “Many of our children suffer from years of abuse and neglect, they find socializing very difficult. Events like these help to improve their social interaction skills and position them for future success. We appreciate very much the time the Yob Family Foundation staff spends with our children and look forward to a continued and impactful relationship.”
The Yob Family Foundation will continue to grow its partnership with the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch in the months and years to come, helping raise awareness and promote all they are doing in our community.
The GRAMMY Museum To Launch Music Education Initiative In Tampa, Fl.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (March 28, 2013) - The GRAMMY Museum's acclaimed Music Revolution Project, an education initiative developed in 2012, has confirmed an expansion of the program into Tampa, Fl., as announced by Bob Santelli, Executive Director of The GRAMMY Museum. Having debuted as a pilot program last year in Kansas City, Mo, The GRAMMY Museum's Music Revolution Project offers talented youth the opportunity to engage in musical workshops, songwriting courses, mentoring sessions, and the opportunity to record the material they’ve written in order to be analyzed by music-industry leaders.
With generous support from Yob Family Foundation, The Tampa Bay Times Forum and a variety of local Tampa businesses and corporations, The GRAMMY Museum's Music Revolution Project stimulates creative young musicians by connecting them with GRAMMY-level artists. During The GRAMMY Museum's summer pilot program in 2012, 24 emerging young artists participated in an intensive, four-week curriculum including instruction, rehearsals and mentoring at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and Sprint Center, two iconic venues located in downtown Kansas City, Mo. In February 2013, the Kansas City students were invited to attend the GRAMMY-Awards show in Los Angeles, CA.
“We are thrilled to be expanding The GRAMMY Museum’s Music Revolution Project into Florida,” said GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli. “Through the passion and commitment of our first-class partners paired with a dynamic music and arts community in the Tampa Bay region, it is our hope that we can help develop a new generation of innovative music talent.”
Local Tampa-area high school and college students interested in The Music Revolution Project are encouraged to attend an informational session to be held on Saturday, April 13 at 1:00 p.m. at The Tampa Bay Times Forum. Interested parents and educators are also invited to learn additional details including the screening process and planned curriculum at the session, which will be hosted by Santelli. To RSVP for the April 13 session, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Created to broaden musical and creative skills while helping establish relationships, the program is also designed to increase self-esteem, help students develop entrepreneurial skills and grow their passion for music. The program, is underwritten by Tampa-area foundations and businesses, and will be entirely free to all students who are selected to participate. The program will begin on July 22 and will culminate with a formal concert on August 16.
"Arts education has been demonstrated to improve our kids’ scores on standardized tests, make them more likely to go to college, increase their marketability in the workforce, as well as bring joy into their lives," said Lisa Yob, Director of Philanthropy for the Yob Family Foundation. "We could not be more proud to help bring this landmark program to Tampa Bay."
Yob Family Foundation & The FLorida Aquarium Journey to Madagascar
TAMPA, Fla. (October 5, 2015) - There’s no place quite like it in the world” says Jon Yob, Founder and President of the Yob Family Foundation. Where is he talking about you might ask, the Galapagos? Or what about the Great Barrier Reef? No & no, he is talking about Madagascar, a place where more than 80% of the plants and animals on the island are found nowhere else in the world.
After Jon Yob’s visit to Madagascar he was inspired to create awareness and share its vast wonders back here in the Tampa Bay community. At the same time the Florida Aquarium was actively seeking a way to incorporate the diversity of Madagascar at the Aquarium. What better way to share the magic of Madagascar than to partner the Yob Family Foundation with the Florida Aquarium!
The Florida Aquarium plays home to more than 20,000 aquatic animals and plants. Many unique experiences and a plethora of highly respected learning opportunities for student and guests of all ages helped make the Aquarium the perfect organization for the Yob Family Foundation to team up with.
The Aquarium has benefited tremendously from the addition of the exhibit in 2014. With the help of the Madagascar exhibit and a tremendous reputation in the Tampa Bay community, the Aquarium is poised to have a record-breaking year in attendance. “More than 800,000 guests have walked through the doors this year and Journey to Madagascar has been a driving factor behind those numbers,” said Mark Haney, Vice President of Advancement at the Florida Aquarium. Mark also added “The Journey to Madagascar exhibit has become a favorite for our guests and members. We are grateful to the Yob Family Foundation for making it a reality.”
The exhibit offers a first-class educational experience for all visitors to learn more about the unique flora and fauna that inhabits Madagascar. Many colorful chameleons, bashful coconut crabs and beautiful coral reefs highlight the exhibits’ diversity and its main attraction, the ring-tailed lemurs. Overfishing in this region has created a shortage of available protein and as a result, the people are turning to lemurs for vital nutrients. It is rare that an Aquarium would feature primates, but by hosting the lemurs the global conservation message of the Florida Aquarium really hits home.
The generous donation from Jon Yob and the Yob Family foundation helped to establish this exhibit and make it one of the most interesting experiences at the Florida Aquarium. The Yob Family Foundation delights in knowing that the exhibit will continue to spread awareness and entertain the guests of the Florida Aquarium for years to come.
Three Reasons Why Our Children Need the Arts
"Above all, we are coming to understand that the arts incarnate the creativity of a free people. When the creative impulse cannot flourish, when it cannot freely select its methods and objects, when it is deprived of spontaneity, then society severs the root of art." -John Fitzgerald Kennedy
The ballad of the arts in American schools is a sad song, and it's way past time that we changed it into a catchy tune that no one can get out of their heads.
In America, commitment to arts education has dwindled, mirroring school budgets hit hard by a recession and drop-offs in tax revenue at the federal, state and local levels. When schools are struggling to meet their basic needs with regard to fundamentals, arts programs are usually the first ones slashed.
However, we believe it's time that the arts take its rightful place next to reading, writing and 'rithmetic, because leaving the arts out of the educational equation is contrary not only to our national values but also our economic goals. So, to kick-start this chorus, we'd like to present just a few reasons why we need to do what we can to support arts in our schools and bring them back into our childrens' lives.
The Arts = Big Business for America -- Ever try to see a movie for free? A stage show? What about all those signs that dot the highway -- an artist had to create those. Artists also create magazine covers, storefront signs, advertisements, posters, music, films and more. Try to walk a single city block without seeing something that was created by an artist, and then try to imagine the revenue generated by all these elements of our daily lives created by workers in the arts.
• The non-profit arts organizations alone generate $166 billion in economic activity annually, supporting 5.7 million jobs and generating nearly $30 billion in government revenue, according to Americans For The Arts.
• Products by creative artists represent one of the U.S.'s largest export industries, growing to $64 billion in 2010. This figure represents movies, paintings, jewelry, music, comics, video games and more.
• With U.S. imports in the arts at just $23 billion, it's one of the only industries in which the U.S. enjoys a trade surplus of about $41 billion.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs -- A report by the market research firm The Conference Board shows that creativity is among the top applied skills sought by employers. According to the report, 72 percent of business leaders say creativity is of high importance when hiring. But don't take their word for it -- Annette Byrd, an HR manager with pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline was recently quoted saying, "We need people who think with the creative side of their brains — people who have played in a band, who have painted, been involved in the community as volunteers. It enhances symbiotic thinking capabilities, not always thinking in the same paradigm, learning how to kick-start a new idea, or how to get a job done better, less expensively.”
Smarter Kids -- Studies repeatedly demonstrate that students schooled in the arts have better grades, achieve greater in standardized testing, drop out less often and even participate in their communities. One study showed that students with arts training scored on the average 100 points better on their SATs than students without an arts education. Creative arts learning also helps students craft strategies for retaining information from other subjects like math and science. If a child has to memorize 20 pages of dialogue for a play, how hard do you think it is for them to remember the Pythagorean Theorem? The arts are not just a motivational song and dance -- they make our kids smarter.
The bottom line is this -- the arts enrich our children in very tangible ways across the educational spectrum. They also spread joy, and there's no price tag we can put on that.
Foster Children Deserve Brighter Futures
One of the most difficult things about being a child is that a child’s world is very small.
As adults, we have work, family obligations, relationships, friendships, ethics and other things that preoccupy us as we struggle to maintain the exigencies of life -- a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food in the pantry.
Children have school, friends and play, and that’s pretty much it. But what if children were faced with the harsher realities of life before they have a chance to be children and explore their own little corner of the world? What happens when a child isn’t sure where they might be living from month to month, when they are told all the possibilities of their future are restricted to a narrow bandwidth of opportunities, and when they go to bed at night unsure of whether anyone truly loves them?
There is a word for that experience in America. It’s called Foster Care. It’s a system that despite the best efforts of childcare professionals, loving foster families and a variety of dedicated charity organizations, is as close to being broken without actually collapsing under its own weight.
Moreover, recent studies are revealing that many children who grow up in the foster care system are caught in a negative cycle of mental illness, unemployment, homelessness and, frankly, hopelessness.
• Children in foster care who have chronic medical pblems: 50 percent
• Alumni (adults formerly in foster care) who experienced seven or more school changes (K-12): 65 percent
• Alumni who completed high school: 74 percent (Compare to 84 percent in the general population ages 25 to 34)
• Youth aging out of foster care who plan to attend college: 70 percent
• Alumni who completed a bachelor’s degree: 3 percent - 11 percent (Compare to 28 percent for 25- to 34-year-olds in the general population)
• Alumni who were employed at age 21: 52 percent (Compare to 66.6percent employment rate for ages 20-24 in 2008)
• Alumni who became homeless for one day or more after aging out of foster care: 22 percent (Compared to range of 2.6 percent to 6.8 percent for ages 18 to 24
who are homeless in U.S. in any given year)
• Alumni of foster care who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder: 25 percent (This lifetime prevalence rate is similar to that of many U.S. war veterans)
For those of us who are removed from the child welfare system, some of the problems facing children who live in -- and graduate -- from that system will be shocking, to say the least. However, the statistics reveal that the chilling effect of the realities of foster care are breeding a hidden generation of kids who grow up to be lost and troubled adults.
The number of children in the foster care system hovers in the 400,000 range every year, so the statistics above represent a staggering number of people. For instance, the 25 percent who suffer from PTSD will amount to nearly 100,000 adults. That’s also the same number who didn’t complete high school, and almost double that number celebrated their 21st birthdays without jobs.
They could fill several football stadiums, as they go without a basic education, employment and a baseline of physical and mental health. They represent the most deserving of us, as they were not responsible for the circumstances that placed them in all of these high-risk groups.
That’s why it is so important for those of us who can to support the charities and foundations that make up the safety net for these children. Despite the hurdles they face, there is still a chance for hope, a chance for joy and a chance for life. All they require is the chance to remain children and the hope for a future that is as abundant with opportunity as any other child’s life. And, to be candid, it is the least those of us, who live in the richest free country in the world, can do for them.