VOiCE scouts, recruits and encourages talented kids who have an interest in art and technology but have limited access to explore those subjects, college majors and careers.
VOiCE is a multimedia youth center designed to give young people real-world, work-based learning opportunities in journalism, creative writing, songwriting, music composition, videography, photography, poetry, graphic design, communications and publishing.
VOiCE was started by a group of JFG students from Palatka High School who sought out a local businessman who owned a condemned building in a drug infested area of their town. He agreed to donate the building so they could have a safe place to be when they weren’t in school. After researching the history of the building, walking through all the options with the students and talking to some of the locals, it was clear how we could honor the rich heritage while creating a stimulating learning environment.
The center is located in Palatka, Florida and is operated by the Florida Endowment Foundation for Florida’s Graduates, infusing both Jobs for Florida’s Graduates and Girls Get IT services. VOiCE is made possible through partnerships with Representative Joe Pickens, the Florida Department of Education, the Verizon Foundation, Mobile Modular’s, The City of Palatka, Putnam County, Putnam County School District, the North East Florida Educational Consortium, and the First Coast Workforce Development Board.
Because VOiCE is a multimedia center designed to encourage youth self-expression and empowerment, students design and publish a community newspaper, design and publish a retrospective on the history of jazz in the area, build and manage a recording studio, and host jam sessions between our students and the local, elderly jazz musicians.