Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Her life will be a lesson for youths

NORTH TAMPA — Three years ago Jennifer Falcon gave up alcohol and drugs without looking back.

She never imagined those past experiences might one day have a valuable purpose. As co-director of the Generation His Youth Center at New Beginnings Fellowship church, Falcon says she is putting those moments of darkness to good use.

"I have the street knowledge," said Falcon, 50, a baker who lives in South Tampa. "I've been through a lot of hell in my life, and I know what these kids need, and it's all about love."

The concept of the youth center came about only three months ago, Falcon said.

At that time, the property at 3405 W Kenyon Ave. was being rented by a church employee who was ill and about to retire.

Falcon and her husband, David, 49, a contractor, had felt a calling from God to serve the church by working with youth, and Generation His was born.

The renter moved, and the Falcons started to build, paint and decorate.

Any young person, 9 years old and up, will be welcome at the center. Children there will find a cafe, game room, food bank and a free clothing thrift shop.

The center will offer outside sports activities in addition to classes in dance, music and basic living skills such as cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. Organizers hope to open in July.

Falcon said the center is critical for reaching out to young people who have no safe place to hang out.

"So many of these kids are left alone because both parents have to work all day, and that's just not positive for these kids," she said. "These kids need some direction, and that's what we're going to provide them."

Paul Hollis, pastor and founder of New Beginnings, said there isn't anyone better suited for the task than Falcon.

"She has a real heart for youth," Hollis said. "She understands the struggles youth go through. She and David go out of their way to help young people."

So far, the Falcons have collected donations from local businesses, including desks, a washer, dryer, refrigerator and deep freezer from Famous Tate's. They hosted a fundraising banquet at Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse, which generated another $1,800.

The plan is eventually to get a committee of church members together to help teach classes and continue raising money. Falcon projected the yearly expenses will approach $14,000.

"This is all about giving back, and giving these kids the love they need," she said. "I can give to them what God gave to me, to use through me."

Contact reporter Sheryl Kay with any religion news at skreporter@hotmail.com or call (813) 230-8788.

>>Fast facts

For more information on Generation His, call (813) 526-4611.

Her life will be a lesson for youths 06/26/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 1:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

  2. No touchdown, but fun lesson for Bucs' Adam Humphries

    Bucs

    It didn't end up being a touchdown, but one of the Bucs' biggest hustle plays in Thursday's win over Jacksonville saw receiver Adam Humphries scoop up a loose ball just before halftime, after what looked like an incompletion but was correctly ruled a Jameis Winston fumble.

    Bucs WR Adam Humphries runs to the end zone with QB Jameis Winston trailing -- his alert play wasn't a touchdown because teammates cannot advance a fumble in the final two minutes of a half.
  3. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week

    Bucs

    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]
  4. Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91

    Obituaries

    LOS ANGELES — Jerry Lewis, the manic, rubber-faced showman who jumped and hollered to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons, has died. He was …

    In this Sept. 2, 1990, file photo, entertainer Jerry Lewis makes his opening remarks at the 25th Anniversary of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon fundraiser in Los Angeles. Lewis, the comedian whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died according to his publicist. [Associated Press]
  5. Mastermind of lottery rigging scam that netted millions faces 25 years

    Nation

    DES MOINES, Iowa — For a decade, computer programmer Eddie Tipton reliably showed up for work at the central Iowa office of the Multi-State Lottery Association and earned the confidence of his co-workers, a team of technicians entrusted to build computers used to randomly pick numbers for some of the most popular …

    FILE - In this June 29, 2017, file photo, Eddie Tipton, the former Multi-State Lottery Association information security director who admitted to masterminding a scheme to rig lottery games that paid him and others $2 million from seven fixed jackpots in five states, is seen in court in Des Moines, Iowa. Tipton is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, Aug. 22. (Rodney White/The Des Moines Register via AP, File) IADES501