urban-league_web.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE — The Urban League of Broward County has turned up the technology switch in its digital classrooms with laptops financed as part of a new corporate partnership by Fort Lauderdale-based Florida Career College (FCC).

Officials said the digital classrooms in the league’s 28,000-square-foot Sunshine Health Community Empowerment Center will serve as a resource hub allowing community members to utilize advanced technology that may not otherwise have been accessible to them, as well as help provide alternative educational advancement tools, and assist with workforce development and financial literacy.

“We are grateful to Florida Career College for investing in the parents, youth and community residents and for helping us in our ongoing mission to serve as a catalyst for change in Broward County,” said Germaine Smith-Baugh, chief executive officer of the  nonprofit league, which works to assist individuals, families and communities in the areas of education, jobs, housing and health. “We are already noticing a difference in the energy of our students and look forward to guiding them as they enter or re-enter the workforce and strive to reach their full potential.”

Executives from FCC, a career-focused school with 12 campuses throughout the state offering industry-specific curricula, recently toured the Urban League facility and had an opportunity to see students at work on the new laptops. Among those on the tour were FCC Vice President of Student Development Lawrence Avers, Executive Director of FCC-Lauderdale Lakes Gilbert Delgado and Vice President of Marketing Erik Brodie.

“One of the biggest barriers to education is financial, and we hope to make a significant impact on the services that the Urban League needs every day including computer and Web access,” said Avers. “We’re excited to continue to broaden our relationship with the Urban League by helping to connect students to their futures through industry-current programs and employability skills training.

During the tour, led by Smith-Baugh and Joe Toliver, the league’s vice president of Philanthropy and Communications, the group discussed future plans for seasonal meet-and-greets and job fairs.

The league also has announced it will recognize four prominent community leaders as part of its Red Gala signature fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale.

The event will begin with a cocktail reception and silent auction with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are $200 per person and sponsorships begin at $500. To purchase tickets, volunteer or donate an auction item call 954-584-0777, or visit ulbroward.org

The gala will include a night of nautical ambiance, an exotic seafood-inspired menu and performances. Officials say more than 600 business leaders, community partners and supporters are expected to attend the Love Boat themed event, which will pay tribute to those who, like the league, are dedicated to improving the lives of families and children. The attire for the evening is a nautical chic. Masquerade Costumes, located at
5801 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, will offer all attendees a 10 percent discount on their costumes for this event.

The Love Boat title sponsor, also known as the “Captain,” is the Sunshine State Health Plan (Sunshine Health). Sunshine Health CEO and Urban League Board Member Chris Paterson will serve as this year’s gala chair along with Sunshine Health Board Chairman Nelson Adams. In June the league unveiled the newly named Sunshine Health Community Empowerment Center in tribute of Sunshine Health’s $2 million support of the Urban League, announced at the league’s annual business meeting earlier in the year.

Longtime league supporter AutoNation, Inc. will present the 2013 Margaret Roach Humanitarian Award to the late Dr. Calvin Hylton Shirley, Dr. Carmen Shirley and Jasmin Shirley in recognition of their family’s impact on health in Broward County. The award recognizes individuals in the community who demonstrate ongoing leadership and compassion to all human beings in the areas of social justice, race relations and community service.

In addition, Tripp Scott, P.A., will recognize U.S. Congressman Alcee Hastings as this year’s 2013 Diversity Champion Award. The award honors an individual who has demonstrated efficacy in creating, increasing and/or incorporating diversity strategies into their organizations normal business practices.

The event also will feature a raffle and the silent auction incorporating unique items and experiences, including two round-trip tickets for a weeklong Royal Caribbean cruise, hotel accommodations, high-end art pieces and more. As part of this year’s celebration the league has the continued support of other sponsors such as Enterprise Holdings, JM Family Enterprises, JP Morgan Chase, Macy’s and PNC Bank.

“With the upcoming 2015 National Urban League Conference around the corner, we anticipate an even bigger turnout at our signature Red Gala,” said Smith-Baugh.

“It’s no surprise as this event truly is a party with a purpose, providing an opportunity to enjoy a great evening while supporting the Broward County’s most critical resources — our children and families.”Picture above TECH SUPPORT: With students in one of the Urban League’s digital classrooms are, from left, Lawrence Avers, FCC vice president of student development; Erik Brodie, FCC vice president of marketing; Gilbert Delgado, FCC-Lauderdale Lakes executive director; Germaine Smith-Baugh, Urban League of Broward County president and CEO; and Alwayne Burke, Urban League vice president of finance & administration.