Florida International University

audrey_edmonson_fc_web.jpgThe Miami Children's Initiative has taken one more step toward reality after receiving 12 applications from Liberty City residents and social service professionals for seats on its 17-member  board of directors.

A nominating committee will select 10 of the applicants to serve on the board of the 10-year project, a wide-ranging program intended to bring kindergarten-to-college educational, developmental and health programs to the underserved Miami neighborhood.

The Legislature enacted a measure two years ago authorizing creation of children’s initiatives throughout the state and allocated $3.6 million for the first three years of the Miami program which will be overseen by the Tallahassee-based Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida and administered by the Miami-Dade County Health Department.

Betty A. Key, the initiative’s interim director, would not say who applied for seats on the board.

“Partnerships must be built with and among churches, businesses, organizations and educational institutions and the board will be in charge of reaching out to all of those,” said Key, a retired Miami-Dade educator.

The board will comprise seven members who reside in Liberty City or operate small community-based businesses or organizations in the community and two members who are parents of children aged birth through 18, live in Liberty City and are involved in  a parent-based organization.

Three members will come from community social service organizations; their agencies will be barred from receiving initiative funds for the first three years of the project.

Three youth advisors will be selected to sit on the board by the 10 selected members and two will be nominated by the Ounce of Prevention board of trustees.
Board members, who will be subject to background checks, will serve without pay for two- or three-year terms.

A nominating committee comprising three members of an interim board and representatives of County Commissioners Audrey Edmonson and Dorrin Rolle will review the applications, conduct interviews and select board members.

If the committee cannot select 10 board members from the 12 applications, Key said, additional applications may be accepted.

She said one of the board’s first tasks will be to hire a permanent executive director.

“We believe this is a positive and changing experience for the people of Liberty City,” said Key.

Erica Loret de Mola may be reached at elore006@fiu.edu.


Pictured Above:  County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson