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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Florida Institute for Community Studies Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, Family Services, Human Services

Mission: FICS partners with communities to help them achieve their goals through research, services, education, training and the ARTS.

Results: Transforming a closed county park into an oasis of health and well-being! * Improved outcomes - prevention works! * community advocacy and self-determination Help us @https://npo.justgive.org/fics

Target demographics: communities understand their own strengths and risks so that they can plan, get organized and succeed!

Direct beneficiaries per year: 900 youth and their families

Geographic areas served: Partnering with communities across Florida to help them achieve their goals through research, education, training and services

Programs: FICS includes :1. Vivir Mejor, Live Better: Our Model Program focusing on Cardiovascular Health 2. One Goal Many Voices: A statewide program focusing on the needs of health promotors and outreach workers 3. Quick and Easy Spanish: immersion Spanish - 6 weeks with a native Spanish speaker. 4. Multicultural Family Center: afterschool programming for youth 6-18, homework help, mentoring, free/confidential HIV testing and computer lab.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Rosa R.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have my 2 kids in Fics . They learned guitar, Congas, art, breakdance, etc.... They help with homework. Fics support the families. I always recommend Fics

Comments ( 1 )

FICS Thank you Rosa! FICS is grateful for the review and we are amazed at how talented these kids are! The sky is the limit for them! You are one of the best spokespersons for us! :)

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

FICS is unique that it offers art, music and dance classes free or almost free! It provides opportunities for the older children to learn leadership skills. There is a terrific curriculum and philosophy there. The children learn character development just by attending. Self esteem improves as they are valued by peers while joining together in fun activities. The staff at FICS are devoted , creative and excellent examples to the youth. I wish FICS was in every part of our state and in every part of our country! Not every kid wants to play sports!

Mitch T.

Advisor

Rating: 5

FICS has provided some great after school programs and is always striving to provide services identified as needed by the people it is serving. Dedicated leadership and active volunteers make this organization stand out in the community. I served on the advisory board for a couple of years and found it rewarding to assist in setting and meeting the goals of this great community resource.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently began volunteering at FICS, teaching English to parents, children, anyone who wants to learn! The people there are wonderful. The leadership is committed, energetic and creative. Their programs run the gamut -- from breakdancing, to drumming, to community gardening, to healthy eating. Give! Get involved! It's worth the investment of time and money!

1 Julie269

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Florida Institute for Community Studies reaches a population that is often forgotten and does an amazing amount of good with so little as it reach out to immigrant communities with a wide array of services. One can only imagine what FICS could accomplish if a millionaire benefactor were to take notice!

Nina8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to work with FICS for a few years and observing their community work with youth in the Ruskin and South Hillsborough area. All of the youth involved were enthusiastic to be participating and I felt the learning experiences and cameradarie the youth experienced was a positive thing in their and their families lives.

Previous Stories
3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've had the opportunity to watch this group lead break dancing classes to youth in Ruskin, FL. The enthusiasm from the staff and participants was always a joy. Besides teaching dancing which was great exercise, they were teaching how to be a community.

2 Carmen E. L.

Client Served

Rating: 4

We joined the FICS' family two years ago. My son has participated in several programs and is delighted with his experience. As many of you know, dealing with a special child is not an easy task. The staff have managed to address not only his differences, but also have built his self esteem. Thanks for everything you do!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have worked with FICS. There is no other organization that does what they do in the Town 'N Country area. They provide services for kids and young people free of charge, and they serve as an important information resource for many families that have arrived in the U.S. recently and may not know how to navigate things like the school system or local social services. Two of my sister-in-law's kids participated in FICS when they came to the U.S., and their mom was very pleased with FICS's service.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

The fact that they focus on actual research and asking what the community needs and desires and then helps the community come up with a plan of action followed by actual help in implementation - awesome. A true community development organization with sustainable community involvement.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with FICS for the last 8 years. I am so proud of the work we have done and continue to do. It gives me such a pleasure to see Kids that were part of our programs become great professional and most important give time back to their community. This what we are here for, to teach the tools of become pillars of our society. I will continue to support and be part of this amazing organization.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As long as I have been a board member for this organization, I am constantly impressed by the impact that they have on serving the youth of our community. They do a lot of great things by instilling the right values and skills with their summer program, various dance and art classes, after-school program, leadership programs, etc. I have been supporting them for about seven years now, and will continue to support them. Larry Aiello

5 Fignole D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

FICS has been part of my life for about a decade. First I was a parent of a "Project prevention" student, than I joined the staff for the last four years. I 've seen lives changed for the best , due to the work and the love of the staff. FICS partner with many other organisations to help the community.FICS is a real asset for the community.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at the FICS community center for about a week, and it was a great experience. The staff is very friendly and willing to give me good assignments and the resources to accomplish them. I also enjoyed helping out the community in need, and I could apply my knowledge of the Spanish language there. The students were very friendly and well behaved, and the staff did an exceptional job being friendly to the students, as well as keeping order and teaching them important life lessons. The director, Alayne, was very kind to me, and did a great job with assigning things for me to do. It was a great experience, and I will for sure come back to work there again in the near future.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

FICS is truly making a difference in the lives of children and their families. Its founder, Alayne, the staff, and volunteers work tirelessly to help those in need, and the community. This grass roots organization is an inspiration and will benefit generations to come.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

FICS is a local model of community involvement that inspires me to give back to the community I live in locally and Globally. I see the difference FICS makes in the lives of young people who have an appetite to do greatness and fulfill their curiosity. FICS involvement in the community has benefited and changed the lives of many young people for generations to come.
AC

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been inspired by the grassroots success of this hard-working organization. They help immigrants who don't even have the resources or awareness to find a nonprofit. They tutor children, help families and provide hope and a community. FICS is truly inspirational.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Since I have been involved with FICS I have been able to see many of Kids that have been part of our services grow to be exceptional community leaders. Those skills are part of the amazing programs we offer. We work hard to move it forward.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

During my time working in this program, I have seen the kindness of mankind. I have gotten to know not only the wonderful children who go there, but also the adults who work there. These workers tirelessly extend themselves to improving the children's experiences and making their lives better. Their work is reflected through the smiles of the children. These children are active, friendly and intelligent , using each moment in the program to learn some new skill. I honestly wish that more people could learn about the program and be a part of this wonderfully helpful community setting.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I first became involved with FICS and Alayne Justicia in 2003 and was privileged to be able to serve a very educational internship with Alayne and this exceptional organization. I have continued to support them because FICS, it staff, and volunteers provide a number of worthwhile services to their community. I believe that they are a tremendous benefit to the young people and their families that they partner with.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with FICS for close five years now, and have enjoyed every bit of my involvement. From the staff to more importantly the community, both find ways to show appreciation for your efforts. It is really impressive how community driven this non-profit is. During the events where we all come together, to acknowledge the achievements of the youth who participate in the free after-school program, you get the feeling that you are a part of large family. I feel honored to be a part of this family.