Community

Stories about the people in our community.

First Coast Connect: The Brit Rose Foundation

Jul 6, 2016
www.shopbritrose.com

Brittney Rose Serpa was a young, beautiful, and bubbly 18-year-old excitedly making plans for her freshman year at Ole’ Miss when she became a victim to cyberbullying. She also had struggled with mental illness since her early teens.

On a Monday, a complete stranger began the attack, and by Thursday she had taken her own life. Her mother, Tori Serpa of Jacksonville Beach, decided to turn her family's tragedy into a movement to help others by founding the Brit Rose Foundation.

Sulzbacher Center

Jacksonville’s Sulzbacher Center homeless shelter is helping students start the school year with a new wardrobe.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

Dozens of volunteers showed up at Neptune Beach bright and early this morning, ready to pick up trash left by July 4 revelers.

https://www.facebook.com/hsmoghul/photos/

The Atlantic Institute of Jacksonville, one of the founders of Table of Abraham, hosted a Ramadan fast-breaking event Thursday night.

Haroon Moghul, an expert on Islam, U.S. foreign policy and religious identity, was the keynote speaker where he spoke about celebrating Ramadan, and where extremism comes from and what the Muslim community can do about it.

Vince Kong / WJCT

In our Chasing the Dream series, WJCT looked at the thousands of Jacksonville residents on the wait list for housing vouchers, as well as as those struggling to avoid eviction from public housing.

Now, the series examines options available to people who qualify for public housing but, for one reason or another, choose to live somewhere else.

Weekly humor columnist for the St. Augustine Record Brian Thompson won second place in the Society of Newspaper Columnists’ 2016 column contest with his piece, “A True Disney dream come true.”

Thompson discusses where his inspiration came from for his award-winning piece and his passion for humor writing on Wednesday’s First Coast Connect.


Vince Kong / WJCT

In our series on poverty and housing, Chasing the Dream, we’re hearing from Jacksonville residents struggling to keep decent roofs over their heads.

This segment explores how living in public housing comes with rules and the constant threat of eviction for breaking them.


For low-income families, it can be frustrating finding a decent, affordable place to live. 

The Jacksonville Housing Authority works with the federal government to try to give people roofs over their heads — but thousands more people need homes than the agency can provide.


A 12-year-old Jacksonville girl is setting her sights on space.

Taylor Richardson hopes to be the first African American woman to set foot on Mars.

Richardson spoke about her mission on Monday’s First Coast Connect.

Jacksonville Jaycees

One of the 49 people who died in the June 12 attack on Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub was a member of the Jacksonville Jaycees.

The organization will honor the memory of Darryl “DJ” Burt II with a memorial fundraiser Sunday in Riverside.

Jaycees Vice President Racquel Wood said the goal is to raise $10,000, some of which will go to Burt’s family.

“To help them cover unexpected expenses like travelling," she said. "And we’re doing a memorial for him here in Jacksonville at Willow Branch Park. So that will cover the bench, getting the plaque, installing it.”

OneJax

A group of 60 Jacksonville teens are graduating today from a program celebrating their differences.

The University of North Florida’s OneJax Institute holds the summer program called Metrotown, which exposes students to different perspectives. 

Naw-am Daniels

A Jacksonville girl needs a bone marrow transplant to give her a fighting chance against cancer, her mom said.

But the hardest part isn’t the transplant procedure, it’s finding a donor.


Are you a newshound? Creative? A public media lover?

As our “First Coast Connect” talk show producer, you’ll get to help drive important — sometimes difficult — conversations on WJCT's flagship, daily call-in show. Since its founding seven years ago, “First Coast Connect” and host Melissa Ross have been voted audience favorites in local polls nearly every year and have racked up national awards recognizing the quality of the show.

This job might be for you if:

Allie George

Florida Times-Union columnist Mark Woods released his first book Tuesday, “Lassoing in the Sun”, which describes his year-long journey visiting America’s National Parks.

The Bookmark, 220 1st St, Neptune Beach, will be hosting a book signing Tuesday night, at 7:00 pm.


Faith Matters: The Religious Minority Experience In Jacksonville

Jun 9, 2016

Jacksonville is seen as a religiously diverse city with many faiths represented. However, Christianity accounts for 94.4 percent of the religiously identified population.

What is it like for those in the other 5.6 percent?

On this edition of Faith Matters, hosts Kyle Reese and Nancy Broner explore what it means to be in the religious minority in Jacksonville, and hear from health care and military professionals about serving populations of multiple faiths.

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