In the following letter, Ms. LaShunda Martin, who has volunteered in the Richmond-Perrine After School Program, she speaks proudly of her daughter, Frantasia Phipps, a 13 year old teenager and participant in the Gould's Youth Development Program.
Frantasia has been involved in Richmond-Perrine Optimist Club since she was 5 years old. Frantasia initially displayed behavioral problems and resisted participating and interacting with the other kids in the After School Center. However, the After School Counselor, Ms. Angela Roberts, Sheldon Smith (Program Aide), and Ms. Lillian Smith (Teacher), provided the early intervention needed to keep Frantasia focused on doing her best. Over the years, Frantasia overcame many challenges and difficulties she encountered in life, such as being bullied and controlling her behavior.
Nevertheless, Frantasia remained in the Richmond-Perrine After School and Summer Camp Programs, and she never gave up and never stopped participating. Staff members in the After School program remained closely involved in her life, continuing to coach her and monitor her progression in school. 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, she has received awards such as High Honor Roll (GPA of 3.4), Honor Roll. Because of her determination to succeed, Frantasia was recently nominated for Academic Excellence out of all Miami Dade County Public Schools in District 7. The Honorable Lubby Navaro, who serves as the elected School Board Member of Miami Dade County Public Schools District 7, hosted this prestigious award ceremony, which was held at Miami Killian Senior High School. Thanks to the entire Richmond-Perrine Optimist Club Family, Frantasia is now well on her way to achieving success and prosperity!
Ms. Martin further expresses her sincere gratitude for the Richmond-Perrine Optimist Club’s After School Program, the Goulds Youth Development Program, and in particular, Ms. Angela Roberts, the After School and Youth Counselor, for providing the early intervention needed to help Frantasia to become disciplined and focused on achieving her best.
As a parent, Ms. Martin says she now has first-hand knowledge that it takes a village to raise our children, and she thanks God for the village in the form of the Richmond-Perrine Optimist Club that God put before her daughter.