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On Solid Ground

The Impact of Second Chance Last Opportunity By Julie Milton n late September, SCENE was proud to be a sponsor of Second Chance Last Opportunity’s Share the Light Luncheon. If you are not familiar with the work of this important nonprofit, SCLO, as it is known, provides a holistic and empowering approach to help at-risk teens and low income and homeless families by providing strategies and skills for success. The purple Newtown building that houses SCLO calls out to those who need help and sits proudly as the important place that it is. SCLO’s founder is an amazing and caring woman named April Glasco. After working as a Corrections Officer and a Juvenile Detention Case Worker, April opened a convenience store in the heart of Sarasota’s Newtown, a community which continually struggles with big-city issues like crime, drugs, domestic violence, and unemployment. According to April, she watched young people make bad choices and ruin their lives so she decided to take action. April closed her store, gave away its contents, and in 1995 opened the building as an intervention center called Second Chance-Last Opportunity. Since then, SCLO programs have grown to include life-management skills training, parenting skills training, counseling, mentoring, HIV-AIDS education and counseling, summer and after-school youth programs, food, clothing and shelter referrals, and holiday meals and food distribution. Back to the SCLO Luncheon in late September. As I listened to the compelling speakers, I was very moved and in-


My life has been a test. In my life there is no rest, no righteousness for the just. But God knows best. Carrying a lot of weight on my shoulders, but I’m learning how to be bolder, to be an Upholder! Every day I get a little older. Life is full of surprises – you never know what to expect. I have been abused and used. Every one of my footsteps has been stepped on. Life is like a merry-go-round, when we step off we don’t know where we are going to land. On solid ground or soft ground, life is a challenge with the everyday process of things, and schedules, and obligations, destinations, so I’m just trying to hold on, keep the fight, looking for a higher flight, moving on…. not dwelling on the past. When everything is a plot and scheme, you lose the dream. Promised a rose garden, but only got tears and snares, reaping and reaping. Then weeping trying to take care of babies, I didn’t need a lot of maybes. Share my life once; share my life twice; three times you’re out. Confused, abused I’m not going to lose. I’m looking forward to a higher flight, as high as a kite. Don’t look for me; I’ll look for you in the sky.

spired to help. One of the speakers was a woman who benefited from SCLO’s programs and turned around her life. She wrote two impactful poems that she read to the hushed audience who hung on her every word. I would like to share one of her poems with you.

CONNECT: Wow. If that doesn’t put a tear in your eye, make you pause, make you think, I don’t know what will. If you would like to help April and SCLO provide services to those in need, contact April at 941.360.8660.

Insuring our Future:

The building of the new Children’s Health Facility at the Glasser / Schoenbaum Human Services Center By Julie Milton ne of the first people in the community I met after tak-

low income and at-risk adults, children and families achieve

ing over the editorial duties at SCENE Magazine was

and maintain productive lives.

Dr. Kay Glasser. Dr. Glasser passed away in June of

I can’t help but think how Dr. Glasser would be smiling

2010 but for the almost four years I knew this diminutive giant,

brightly if she could witness the new and important work now

her passion for her cause was so infectious that I couldn’t help

being done at this center of caring – the building of a new Chil-

get on board and support the Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Ser-

dren’s Health Facility, spearheaded by Executive Director Phil

vices Center. Somehow you just couldn’t say no to her.

King and made possible by lead donors Sam and Sally Shapiro,

The center, located on 17th Street in Sarasota, is home to

for whom the new center will be named. The need for this

over 17 nonprofit health and human services agencies that help

larger healthcare facility is great. The present children’s clinic

December 2013