Conquering the ever growing problems of food deserts in the urban communities, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) and the I’m A Star Foundation joined together to launch the Rosa Parks Produce Market at the main bus station. As partners, I’m A Star will operate a weekly market featuring healthy, fresh and local produce for sale every Friday at Rosa Parks Transit Station starting Friday, July 15th, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Approximately 20-30 students participate in the produce market initiative. Through their participation, they will learn entrepreneurial skills. Teams of students are coordinated and each team selects executive officers, marketing managers, operations and customer service representatives. Participating students earn money from the selling of produce market goods and divvy the proceeds towards the collective I’m A Star scholarship fund for high school graduates. Students also receive a work stipend to help toward school clothes and school supplies.
The I’m A Star Foundation is a non-profit corporation that serves as a leadership and service learning bootcamp for students, grades 6-12. The students are taught that the ‘essence of leadership is service to mankind’. The students’ focus for the current school year is providing services and resources to homeless students enrolled in Duval County Public Schools and providing programs and opportunities to help make Jacksonville one of the nation’s healthiest communities. “Our goal is to empower youths to become solution-oriented leaders in their respective schools and communities, and equip youths to perform at high levels of excellence and recognize that they are STARS: Smart, Talented And Resilient Students,” said Founder, Educator Betty Burney. KFP Photo