Lashunda Martin, a parent, knows first hand that it really takes a village to raise children in her community.
She is so grateful for the village — in the form of the Richmond-Perrine Optimist Club’s After-School Program, the Gould’s Youth Development Program and The Children’s Trust — being there for her daughter. For without them, 13-year-old Frantasia Phipps would have lost her way.
Frantasia, a participant in the Richmond-Perrine Optimist Club’s After-School Program and Gould’s Youth Development Program, a program funded through the The Children’s Trust, has been involved in the program since she was 5. At the time her mother enrolled her in the program, Frantasia displayed behavioral problems, and resisted participating and interacting with the other kids in the after-school program.
Frantasia’s mother is so grateful for the support, guidance and insight provided by after-school counselor Angela Roberts, program aide Sheldon Smith and teacher Lillian Smith, all of whom kept Frantasia focused on doing her best, overcoming many challenges and difficulties, including being bullied and securing control over her behavior.
“These individuals have remained closely involved in her life, continuing to coach her and monitor her progression in school,” Martin said. “As Frantasia continued her educational journey from elementary school through her last year of middle school, she embraced a philosophy of dedication and commitment to hard work.”
Along the way, Frantasia has received several awards, including High Honor Roll (GPA of 3.4), Honor Roll, and an award for Academic Excellence, competing with students in all of Miami-Dade County Public Schools in District 7. Lubby Navarro, Miami-Dade School Board member representing District 7, recently hosted an award ceremony at Miami Killian Senior High School. Frantasia currently is a student at Leewood K-8 Center in Kendall.
“Thanks to the entire Richmond-Perrine Optimist Club family, Frantasia is now well on her way to achieving success and prosperity,” Martin said.
For more information about Richmond-Perrine Optimist Club’s After-School Program, the Gould’s Youth Development Program, and other after-school programs and summer camp opportunities funded by The Children’s Trust, visit thechildrenstrust.org.