FORT LAUDERDALE – The James Jones Legacy Foundation, which was launched by Miami Heat guard and two-time NBA champion James Jones and his wife Destiny in 2009, is expanding its Crew 22 Training Camps. The camps are geared toward children aged 11-14 who need role models.
Da-Venya Armstrong, executive director of the foundation, said middle school-age children were the most impressionable and the organization focuses its efforts to meet their needs.
“The James Jones Legacy Foundation is building partnerships with community stakeholders to provide positive opportunities in lives of children who need it,” Jones said. “By building character, confidence, aspirations and most importantly hope, we begin to lay the foundation for a better future.”
The foundation has forged a partnership with the Broward Sheriff’s Office to expand its Crew 22 Training Camps to Broward, which will combine team activities and individual empowerment sessions.
“We could really make a difference because we believe at that age, students are becoming young adults,” Armstrong said. “Academically and socially, we thought that we could add the most value to their lives at that point.”
The partnership was celebrated on June 26 with a cocktail party held at the Urban League of Broward County’s Sunshine Health Empowerment Center in Fort Lauderdale.
“We are proud to host the introduction event for the James Jones Legacy Foundation,” said Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh, president/CEO of the Urban League of Broward County.
“James is an exceptional leader and aside from the possibilities he has provided to the Urban League, he is going to continue to transform the lives of children living in South Florida.”
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bobby DuBose were among those in attendance, along with Urban League board members and executives from American Express, His House Children’s Home, MetLife and Sunshine Health.
“Children don’t only have needs in Miami-Dade County,” Armstrong said. “They were just as interested of bringing our programs and services to Broward County.”
According to the James Jones Legacy Foundation website, the Crew 22 Training Camps provide a comprehensive camp experience for children, offering them both curriculum rich in a variety of life skills and a few days of “fun” that allows them simply to be children.
Fitness and nutrition are introduced from the outset through physical activities followed by healthy meals and snacks.
The educational components include empowerment sessions conducted by experts in areas such as leadership, social development. The foundation will sponsor camps at Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus in Miami-Dade County July 23-26 and at Nova Southeastern University in Broward County July 30-Aug. 1.
The idea for holding the camps on college campuses is to expose the campers to the college environment.
“These kids will be first-generation college kids,” Armstrong said. “[The foundation] wants to provide positive learning experiences. We are training kids for life.”
For more information on the James Jones Legacy Foundation, visit jamesjonesfoundation.org or call 786-505.