AMIkids recently held its Annual Chairmen’s Council meeting in Tampa Bay last weekend. The two-day-long event was an opportunity for the leadership of AMIkids’ nearly 45 local programs to gather together to look ahead into the future of the nonprofit organization as it works to continue helping youth discover their potential.
Day One kicked off with a testimonial from 18-year-old Evan P., an alumnus of AMIkids North Carolina Family Services program. According to Evan, “AMIkids helped me learn to cope with my depression, get over hurdles, such as learning to trust people again and helping me set goals for my future.” His grandmother, Kathie F., added, “It has been uplifting to see the relationship between our family and AMIkids combine to meet Evan’s needs and help him develop sound coping skills, accept feelings of self-worth, learn to trust himself, us and his therapists, to communicate more effectively and to enjoy life without recrimination.”
Following Evan and Kathie’s presentations, AMIkids board chairmen, executive directors and other staff members participated in educational workshops with one workshop in particular blowing everyone away. This workshop was led by three students from AMIkids Sandoval. The students, sharply dressed in suits and overwhelmingly poised and put together, presented the ins and outs of the AMIkids Personal Growth Model, which is the organization’s approach to turning kids’ lives around, using Behavior Modification, Education and Treatment.
The end of Day One wrapped up with a rousing croquet tournament. Several teams, made up of board members and executive directors, competed for close to two hours for the chance to earn dollars to boost employee morale at the local programs. The winning team’s representatives came from AMIkids Pasco and AMIkids Greater Fort Lauderdale along with a player representing two of AMIkids’ South Carolina programs - Bennettsville and Infinity Marlboro. The entire team exclaimed that they were excited to use the dollars to build up the staff at the local programs.
Beginning Day Two, alumnus Angel T., who recently graduated as the valedictorian of Trinity International University this month, pumped up attendees with his inspiring speech of redemption. As a young kid, Angel became involved in drugs and alcohol, but thanks to AMIkids Miami-Dade South, he says that his life has completely changed. He graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from TIU in May and is also a Church of the Nazarene minister.
Four workshops rounded out the day, and the Chairmen’s Council finished with feedback from the local programs and their leadership. The weekend ended on a positive note with members of the AMIkids family headed back to their respective communities. All in all, it was a successful event that helped to reengage board chairmen, executive directors and staff members as they work to show kids from across the country that their troubled past does not have to dictate their future.