Children’s Trust Funded ‘YouthFirst Century’ Introduced In Historic Church

February 26, 2023

“Home economics, ya’ll!”

Standing in the 126-year old Pilgrim Lodge Baptist Church in Century Saturday, Dr. Jessica Griffen introduced her plan to educate area children for an evolving future.

The Escambia County Children’s Trust (ECT) recently awarded Griffen’s non-profit, The Urban Development Center, a $397,556 grant for the first year of a  program called “YouthFirst Century”. The after-school and summer program will focus on everything from technology skills and workforce readiness to the more practical side of life with “Mental Health Mondays”, CPR certification, and, yes, home economics.

The programs will serve children ages 11-18 from Bratt Elementary, Byrneville Elementary, Ernest Ward Middle and Northview high schools.

“We want you to hear it from my mouth; that’s why I’m here,” Griffen told about three dozen people gathered in the historic church. “We need your help so we can have a successful program.”

“It takes a village. That adage is real,” she said. “I can’t be the only one. You can’t be the only one.”

“Our best way to prepare them (youth) is not wait until they get our age to try to prepare them,” said “Our best way to prepare them is to catch them while they are young so that when they get of age they can teach the ones  coming behind them. So I believe, I believe God has sent us somebody, amen, from The Urban Development League who is the front runner and orchestrator, amen, of YouthFirst Century.”

Of the 19 grants totalling $5.1 million, YouthFirst Century was the fourth-highest scoring program.

A kick off day for YouthFirst Century is being planned for March.

For more photos’, click or tap here.

Pictured: The Urban Development League’s Dr. Jessica Griffen introduces YouthFirst Century to a group at the Pilgrim Lodge Baptist Church in Century Saturday morning. photos, click to enlarge.


One Response to “Children’s Trust Funded ‘YouthFirst Century’ Introduced In Historic Church”

  1. Rev John H Powell on March 1st, 2023 12:39 pm

    I currently live in the can tell me area, And I am so excited to know that we have an organization with the expertise to carry out such an much needed task, Doctor Griffin your Professional attitude precedes you, Discommunity needs what you have to offer, And the children need it as well. I am so glad for century Florida,

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