Evac Movement: Young juvenile-justice advocates graduate from Lee High

Evac Movement: Young juvenile-justice advocates graduate from Lee High

Evac graduate Chris Wright, who plans to attend Florida State College in Jacksonville and study business, said the accomplishment that meant the most to him was setting a positive example for other young people.

“We made a difference,” he said.

Wright wants the movement — and its graduates — to continue the mission of turning tragedy into hope.

“We can help the whole world,” he said.

Fellow Evac graduate Jaborie Lewis agreed.

“It showed us we can do a lot to help people. It gave us hope,” said Lewis, who is college-bound and wants to be an engineer.

His advice for future Evac students: “Tell them to have faith.” It’s all about sharing their stories, he said, and working together to make things better. “Tell people what you’re going through.”

News4Jax: EVAC FOUNDER AMY DONOFRIO TO SPEAK AT TEDx JACKSONVILLE ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Amy Donofrio, Jacksonville — An educator and advocate for her students who won the national kindness award, Donofrio will discuss the false label of “at-risk youth.” She calls for a culture change in designating these students as at “at-hope youth.”

Donofrio often gets the same question: How do we reach our at-risk youth? Her answer: We must start by instead viewing youth as at-HOPE. The recipe for hope is simple, replicable, and requires just two main ingredients: relationships and redemption.

The Florida Times-Union: FEDERAL JUDGE DAVIS REACHES OUT TO CITY LEADERS ABOUT EVAC MOVEMENT

“The program’s success, which has impressed each of us in its ability to positively redirect youth, is directly attributable to the model and implementation created and shepherded by Amy Donofrio ... I am not sure any of us, or anyone else, knows how she inspired her students. Finding out and trying to use that strategy makes good sense. I have heard each of you say we need to duplicate and expand the initiative, not fundamentally change it.”
— Federal Judge Brian Davis
 U.S. District Judge Brian Davis asks a question of a participant in an Evac Movement forum in May. The class at Lee High School hosted Mayor Lenny Curry, Sheriff Mike Williams, and a group of judges, attorneys and city leaders at its second annual At-Hope Youth Advisory Forum. (Bob Mack/Florida Times-Union)

U.S. District Judge Brian Davis asks a question of a participant in an Evac Movement forum in May. The class at Lee High School hosted Mayor Lenny Curry, Sheriff Mike Williams, and a group of judges, attorneys and city leaders at its second annual At-Hope Youth Advisory Forum. (Bob Mack/Florida Times-Union)

ActionNewsJax: LEE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WIN NATIONAL KIND SCHOOLS CHALLENGE WITH 'YOUR STORY IS MINE' PROJECT

It’s sponsored by Harvard University and The Kind Foundation. Three students, Christopher Burgess, Nicholas Burgess and Billy Luper and their teacher Amy Donofrio came up with the "Your Story is Mine" project.

The Florida Times-Union: STATE ATTORNEY MELISSA NELSON CHALLENGES YOUTH GROUP TO OFFER SOLUTIONS TO HELP AT-RISK YOUTH

 State Attorney Melissa Nelson challenges youth group to offer solutions to help at-risk youth - By Tessa Duvall tessa.duvall@jacksonville.com

State Attorney Melissa Nelson challenges youth group to offer solutions to help at-risk youth - By Tessa Duvall
tessa.duvall@jacksonville.com

“Ever since I’ve been in this program, I have someone in my corner.”
— Davin Brown, 17, who said being a part of EVAC means he will always have someone to fall back on or to pick him up when he needs it.