Fighting Poverty in Broward County
To truly defeat the forces of poverty, struggling families and individuals will need access to opportunities for economic success.
For four decades, the Urban League of Broward County has been a local solution to creating a fair shot at success for thousands of people.
The “Breaking The Cycle” programs have cut poverty by improving economic stability and uplifting our community by providing access to life-changing employment, education, housing, and health care services. Every year, these programs impact more than 7,000 people across Broward County.
These efforts have attracted national attention, culminating with the Urban League of Broward County playing host to the 2015 National Urban League Conference at the Broward County Convention Center on July 29 to Aug. 1. The conference is projected to draw close to 10,000 attendees, bring in as much as $10 million to the local economy, and showcase dozens of local businesses in its Marketplace section.
But it’s not just national advocates who have taken notice of the group's work. Local families also have praised the staff and volunteers for making a big difference in their lives.
For 19-year-old Antonio Mitchell, the Urban League of Broward County’s Urban Youth Employment Program (UYEP) (designed to provide career and job placement for youth ages 16-24) sent him in a new direction.
“The first thing I did through the program was take advice from the people around me: get a skill and a job. I obtained a forklift certification and soon got myself a job," he said. "After this, I spoke to others in the program about my job success and they were really impressed. Some asked me to be their mentor. Me, a mentor? Yes. I was changing for the better.”
Shalania Civil, a student in the Asset Building Leads to Excellence (ABLE) program, shared a similar experience.
“The ABLE program is a wonderful program that I love because it inspires kids to not give up on life, no matter what the situation or circumstance is," Civil said. "The staff became a part of my family. When my real family was not there, the Urban League was. I learned that when people owed me nothing, I could appreciate people a lot more. I also learned to appreciate myself as well. That’s what it takes to be successful in life.”
As the Urban League of Broward County celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, it envisions creating many more success stories. The “Breaking the Cycle” programs will keep cutting away at poverty and all the hardships that go with it for years to come.
The Urban League of Broward County can’t reduce poverty without support from corporations, small businesses, and individuals. You can donate. You can volunteer. You can take part in social media “sharing.”
Join the Urban League of Broward County in drawing new resources and attention to the plight of families and individuals stuck in poverty. Learn more visit the website here.