Students with local nonprofit work to combat crime and bullying in their community

Action News Jax at 6:00 p.m.

Students in Duval County met with city and state leaders to talk about ways they would like to prevent crime and bullying in their community.

It was part of the I’m A Star Foundation Leadership Summit.

Jordan Brown, 16, is part of the I’m a Star Foundation, a local nonprofit aimed at turning students into community leaders.

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On Saturday morning Brown joined a room of young teens sharing ideas with city and state officials with the goal of finding ways to combat crime, bullying and homelessness in Duval County.

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“Those are kids that are sitting next to you every day in the classroom,” said Brown.

Since 2013, the foundation has raised over $126,000 for homeless students in Duval County.

Brown has been with the I’m A Star Foundation for five years and he says one of the best feelings is knowing that the money he helped raised goes to students in need.

“We just really wanted to make a difference to those students because we believe they should have the same opportunities that we have every day,” said Brown.

Betty Burney, the executive director of the I’m a Star Foundation, says the nonprofit instills confidence in students by letting them know they are smart and talented, can make a difference.

Burney says these typse of programs not only give students something to do but also keep them off the street and give them the chance to succeed.

“Whatever we can think of as a city, we need to do it. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Just give them something to do in the afternoon and watch them rise,” said Burney.

Brown tells Action News Jax the program has definitely helped him prepare for his future.

“It’s given me a wide variety of experience in health fields, business public relations, a lot of different things -- so I’d say it’s definitely given me more steps to my future,” said Brown.

The foundation is a free volunteer program for middle and high school students.

For more information on how to join you can: https://www.imastarfoundation.org/star-sign-up