Local nonprofit Re-Imagine Communities not only helps others, but wins award

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Shaunte Jemison of Apopka has always worked in nonprofits but decided to launch her own when she noticed how some of them operated.

“I’ve always worked in nonprofits, and what I didn’t like was when the organizations became more about the numbers than the actual results. So, during the pandemic, I started getting a lot of calls from people that knew I worked in the community and they really needed help. They just had no idea of where to start to help their kids, so I just decided to start my own so that I would have direct access to those resources and I’d be able to help the families directly.”

That was how her own nonprofit, Apopka-based Re-Imagine Communities, was born, in April 2020. Since then, it has helped more than 3,000 families across Central Florida.

With its mission of promoting equity through assisting underserved and at-risk youth of Central Florida, Re-Imagine Communities collaborates with several other groups to provide educational needs.

Re-Imagine has four areas of concentration: education, mentoring, life skills, and job readiness. The nonprofit’s main goal is to connect schools and communities with the resources they need.

As an Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce member, Jemison won the 2021 Alice Alfano Torchbearer Award at the annual Apopka Chamber Business Awards on December 8. The ceremony honored leaders, businesses, and individuals for their services and dedication to the Apopka community.

Although Jemison already had connections in place when she began Re-Imagine, she hit the ground running by networking with community members and organizations to get her nonprofit’s name out there.

“Some of the community partners were people I had worked with previously, but most of my partnerships have come from word-of-mouth, from people, actually, the people who I serve in the community, they started telling other people about me,” Jemison said. “And businesses started reaching out to me. I joined the Chamber, and they became a great resource for me. Then the schools, because I work a lot especially with the schools in Apopka, I pretty much work with all of the schools, so they also helped me get my name out there in the community and just meeting some great people at different community events, going out, supporting other community events and other nonprofits, just going up to them and saying, ‘Hey, we’re here if you need help.’ And that’s kind of how it evolved.”

For more information, visit  www.re-imaginecommunities.org.

The full story begins on page 1A of the Friday, December 24, issue of The Apopka Chief. Subscribe today!

The Apopka Chief and The Planter are weekly community newspapers, independently owned and family operated, that have served the greater Apopka area in Central Florida since 1923 and 1965 respectively.

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