USF Honors Students Mentor Homeless Bay Area Youth as Part of the Lazydays Homeless Youth Program

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Lazydays Employee Foundation/Camelot Community Care Recognized at WEDU’s Annual Be More Awards Ceremony

Lazydays, The RV Authority

Since the inception of the Lazydays Employee Foundation, we’ve continuously focused on making a positive impact in the lives of at-risk children in our community.

The Lazydays Employee Foundation and Camelot Community Care were recognized among six finalists for the Be More Brilliant/Innovation Award at WEDU’s recent annual Be More Awards ceremony. This award recognizes organizations for their initiatives, projects, and/or services that are unique, creative, or innovative.

The Lazydays Employee Foundation and Camelot Community Care were nominated for their work in recruiting honors students from the USF Kosove Society to mentor the homeless youth served in the Lazydays Homeless Youth Program which was created in September 2010. The Kosove Society is a prominent honor society of university students who have demonstrated a commitment to public service. In 2011, the Kosove Society adopted the Lazydays program as its “Legacy Project” and has been mentoring the program’s homeless youth ever since.

With a shared commitment to help the “loneliest of the lonely” the Kosove Society provides homeless teens with mentors and tutors to help them with their homework and to teach them study and interviewing skills to allow them to become self-sufficient. The USF scholars also provide the youth with role models to help them reach their educational and employment goals. In the past two years alone, the Lazydays Homeless Youth Program has served 325 homeless youth, and 65% of those served maintained ongoing employment before graduating from the program, 52.5% maintained housing on their own, 95% have earned their high school degree or GED and 51% have enrolled in a college or trade school.

“Since the inception of the Lazydays Employee Foundation, we’ve continuously focused on making a positive impact in the lives of at-risk children in our community,” says Randy Lay, president of the Lazydays Employee Foundation. “It means a lot to us to be recognized as a finalist within a category that recognizes resourcefulness when challenged with a limited budget; superior utilization of collaborative community partnerships and volunteer support.”

”It has been our honor to partner with the Lazydays Employee Foundation and the USF Kosove Society to bring this much needed program to life in our community,” says of Mike DiBrizzi, President and CEO of Camelot. “Together, we have come to understand the tremendous impact that compassion and caring can have on the life of another human being.”

About the Lazydays Employee Foundation
In 2005 the Lazydays Employee Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was formed as an employee-organized charitable foundation. The Foundation is made up of mechanics, salespeople, cafeteria workers and other Lazydays employees who are committed to making a difference in the lives of at-risk children. It is funded primarily by voluntary weekly payroll deductions from Lazydays’ employees as well as donations from customers and supporters. More than 50% of the Lazydays employees currently contribute to this charitable foundation. The Lazydays Employee Foundation is run exclusively by employees as volunteers and Board members, which means nearly every cent raised goes directly toward helping at-risk kids and fulfilling its mission.

About Camelot Community Care
Camelot Community Care is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to helping children and families realize their fullest potential. Since 1999, Camelot has provided an array of community based child welfare and behavioral health services to children and families suffering the effects of abuse and neglect, domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, and criminal/delinquency behaviors.

Each day, Camelot provides services to over 6,000 children and families with services that aim to protect children, preserve families, and achieve permanency and stability for the children in our care.

In Tampa Bay Camelot serves 1,200 children daily in programs that include: Adoptions, Traditional and Therapeutic Foster Care, Homeless Youth Services, Independent Living Services (foster youth 18-23), Foster Home Recruitment, Case Management, In-Home and Outpatient Counseling, and DJJ Services.

About the WEDU Be More Awards
The WEDU Be More Awards were created to pay tribute to the many unsung heroes and charities in the community served by WEDU. Each year, this multifaceted program celebrates the human spirit and showcases the best work by nonprofit organizations, the individuals that support them – and WEDU. The WEDU Awards have been described by the St. Pete Times as the “Academy Awards for Non-Profits.”
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Noelle Muniz
Tucker/Hall
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