By Josh Cohen
May 31, 2017
ORLANDO – Overcoming obstacles and managing misfortunes is something we all contend with at various points of our lives. Learning how to avoid getting swallowed up by such challenging circumstances is an important step in our development.
IMPOWER, a leading nonprofit mental health organization, offers children, young adults and families the services needed to conquer life’s hurdles. Founded in 1994, IMPOWER is dedicated to empowering lives with personal attention, counseling, assistance and inspiration.
Recently, IMPOWER received a $50,000 grant from the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF), which is committed to helping children in Central Florida. A grand sum of $1 million was spread around to 17 different local nonprofit organizations during the 2016-17 season.
Members from each organization gathered this past February at Amway Center where they learned about the financial assistance from OMYF. This incredible surprise was ultra-rewarding for the community as a whole.
“It was our first time (receiving grant money from OMYF) and it was extremely exciting for us,” IMPOWER President and CEO Anna Baznik said.
The OMYF’s generosity will specifically aid in IMPOWER’s transitional housing program called “The Village,” which offers safe, affordable housing and support services for homeless and former foster youth. The goal is to prevent homelessness and provide adults between the ages of 18-23 a greater opportunity to complete their education and find employment.
The program also provides hands-on life skills training and mental health support. According to IMPOWER’s website, 88 percent of the The Village’s residents have transitioned to permanent housing, 79 percent gained employment and 100 percent enrolled in an academic or trade program since the program was created in 2006.
“These young adults are just so resilient and it will really help make a difference for them to be successful as adults,” Baznik said. “This is probably the most near and dear program to my heart.”
In addition to offering local organizations financial support, OMYF hosts a variety of fundraisers throughout the year. They raised more than $1 million combined during their annual golf tournament, the OMYF Open, and the Black Tie & Tennies Gala.
To learn more about IMPOWER, visit http://www.impowerfl.org. For more information on OMYF, go to www.omyf.org.