Jacksonville Teens Raising Money For Homeless Peers

Jul 17, 2017

Tabitha Cobb (left) joined 18-year-old Zina Simpson, who was awarded a $1,000 scholarship last year, on WJCT's "First Coast Connect" in 2016.
Credit Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Jacksonville teens are kicking off an online fundraiser for their homeless peers.

Since 2013, the nonprofit I’m A Star Foundation has raised $57,000 through telethons, a 5K race and two celebrity basketball games. All proceeds were either donated to the Duval Public Schools Homeless Education Department or awarded as college scholarships to 14 homeless students.

I’m A Star Foundation Director Betty Burney says this year's goal is to help the school district’s 27,000 homeless students by raising $50,000.

“They have to deal with not only having a roof over their head, but then they have to come to school and do everything that children who have families and a home have to do, and that’s a lot on them,” Burney said, “This funding will help relieve some of the pressure from some of those students.”

The fundraiser begins on Instagram and Facebook, and it runs through Sat., July 22, ending with a celebrity basketball game at Paxon High School.

Several city officials, news personalities and other community leaders will play against a team of high school all-stars. To purchase tickets, click here

Contact Nikeya Heath at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter at @nikereports.