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Local Charities Reap Benefits, Attendees Leave Inspired after 27th Annual African-American Achievers Awards

Local community leaders honored, William T. Dwyer High School senior presented with four-year scholarship to Florida State University

The 27th annual African-American Achievers awards ceremony gifted $40,000 to charitable organizations while honoring five remarkable individuals for their contributions to the South Florida community. The event was sponsored by JM Family Enterprises, Southeast Toyota Distributors and JM Lexus.

Download photos with captions from the African-American Achievers awards ceremony, including group shots of the 2019 Achievers, and watch this video recap of the event.

“This year’s Achievers are doing incredible things in our community, not for the glory or recognition but because they know it’s the right thing to do,” said Colin Brown, chairman of JM Family. “I can tell you unequivocally that our founder Jim Moran, who started this award 27 years ago, would be so proud and impressed by what they have done – and continue to do – for others.”

In recognition of this year’s honorees and their efforts to improve our community, JM Family contributed $10,000 in each Achiever’s name to the charity(ies) of their choice. This year’s contributions bring the total donation made to more than $600,000 on behalf of 163 individual African-American Achievers.

The 2019 African-American Achievers are:
 
Arts & Culture Achiever: Addonis Parker
Supporting the Martin Luther King Economic Organization

Business & Entrepreneurism Achiever: James Thomas
Supporting Pompey Park Senior Club, the Urban Construction Crafts Academy, Boynton Beach High Dimensional Harmony Choir, KOP Mentoring Network, Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, Kingdom Empowerment Ministries, Sickle Cell Advocacy Project and New Mount Olive Baptist Church 

Community Service Achiever: Jasmin D. Shirley
Supporting Delta Education & Life Development Foundation, Inc. 

Education Achiever: Webber J. Charles
Supporting Footprints Across Haiti Corporation, Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance, Excelsior Academics, Inc. and International Human Factor Youth Leadership, Inc. 
 
The Achievers accepted their award on stage and delivered powerful and inspiring speeches to a captive audience of more than 1,000 people. 

“I want to make sure every time I do something in the community, I’m bringing added value. I try to intentionally create the world I want to see. For every negative image I see, I’m waking up in the morning to create a counter image. We have to fight valiantly for good,” Charles said in his acceptance speech. As Director of Student Achievement with Breakthrough Miami, he works to ensure children have the skills and resources they need to capitalize on their potential. 

In addition, Lanaria Johnson, an honor roll student at William T. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., was awarded the 2019 Jerome Edmund Gray Youth Achiever Award. Lanaria will receive a four-year scholarship to Florida State University, where she plans to enroll in the Industrial Engineering program this fall. The Youth Achiever award, named in memory of 1995 African-American Achiever Jerome Edmund Gray, Esq., recognizes a South Florida high school senior who qualifies for financial aid and has applied and received admission to FSU.

The African-American Achievers awards was held on Wednesday, April 24 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center and hosted by Calvin Hughes, Emmy Award-winning evening newscaster for WPLG Local 10. The free event featured performances by the Everglades High School Junior ROTC and musical acts by E.J.’s Company Band and soloist Angeline Fontaine. A moving invocation was delivered by Adrian Francis, 2018 Jerome Edmund Gray Youth Achiever and current freshman at FSU.

Media event sponsors include WPLG Local 10, WPTV Channel 5, 99 JAMZ, HOT 105, BEATZ 96.3 and X102.3.

To learn more, visit www.africanamericanachievers.com or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
 
About JM Family Enterprises, Inc.

JM Family Enterprises, Inc., founded by Jim Moran in 1968, is a $16.3 billion automotive company ranked No. 21 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies. It is also ranked No. 17 by FORTUNE® as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For®, its 21st consecutive year on the list. JM Family has more than 4,300 associates and its primary subsidiaries include: Southeast Toyota Distributors, the world’s largest independent distributor of Toyota vehicles; JM&A Group, one of the leading independent providers of finance and insurance (F&I) products in the automotive industry; Southeast Toyota Finance and DataScan, both part of World Omni Financial Corp., a diversified financial services company; and JM Lexus. Headquartered in Deerfield Beach, Fla., JM Family has major U.S. operations in Jacksonville and Margate, Fla.; Commerce and Alpharetta, Ga.; Mobile, Ala.; and St. Louis, Mo. Interact with JM Family on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.