Our Mission
To PARTNER with communities across Florida to help them achieve their goals through research, education, training, services and the arts. FICS believes that communities know their strengths and gaps better than anyone else. We work to build on the strengths to close gaps through active partnerships.
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The Florida Institute for Community Studies Is...

Mission Driven

Community Centered


Social Science Research and Evaluation

Our Programs


Our home-grown mentoring program that builds STEAM, improves grades and prevents youth (7-17) from getting involved in risky behaviors

HIV/AIDS Education, Counseling, and Testing

Through of Florida Department of Health License, we provide free RAPID HIV testing and services, FREE

YouCount Census

An accurate census helps ensure you have a voice at all levels of government. Through a grant with the Tau Foundation, FICS seeks to educate and inform the community to ensure YouCount!

Partners in Wellness

FICS programming has been strategically focused on responding to identified community needs and an overall request to assist in creating more wellness, opportunities and positive outcomes at the individual, family, peer/school and community levels

Volunteer Program: Mentoring and Tutoring

Through out volunteers and partnerships we provide on-site tutoring and mentoring free of charge. We have a site license for youth to access MobyMax.com for FREE

Research, Planning, and evaluation

Our staff have expertise in qualitative and quantitative research, from design to data collection to analysis and reporting. Available in English and Spanish.


We offer youth FREE arts/crafts and theater classes through our contract with UACDC for Prodigy Cultural Arts! Currently we have art and dance! Stay tuned for more!

All Things Culture & Straz Partnership

We are bridging the gap between arts, art education, and our communities with partners at the Straz and Arts Council! Learn more by visiting our website!

Our Mission

To PARTNER with communities across Florida to help them achieve their goals through research, education, training, services and the arts. FICS believes that communities know their strengths and gaps better than anyone else. We work to build on the strengths to close gaps through active partnerships.


Upcoming Events

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Our Impact

FICS works at the community level to identify gaps and strengths. Through our community advisers, we use those strengths to write plans and create effective programs that build resilience and keep youth out of gangs, help make people healthier, and HIV and Substance free. Our reach extends to thousands of people per year, and we have documented significant improvements in teen pregnancy reduction, violence prevention, improved community responsibility and reduced dependence on law enforcement, prisons, and healthcare systems. We estimate a conservative savings to our community of $4.89 for every dollar spent on after school programs, meaning we have saved the community $1.5 million for youth. In terms of diabetics’ outcomes, we have documented a cost-savings of $782,811 per year.

Our Model

Community at the Center

FICS serves as a facilitator in assisting community by working across partners and groups in a way that allows youth, parents, researchers, community members, educators, and professionals to interact, exchange information and knowledge to create solutions.

Our Finances

Transparency is a focus of the Florida Institute for Community Studies. We proudly provide financial information to GuideStar. Because of our transparency, we have earned GuideStar’s Gold Participant status. 

Where do we spend our money?

Program Expenses
Administrative Cost (Rent, Office Supplies, printing, etc.)
Misc. Expenses

Based on 2018 financial reports. FICS exceeds in the industry standards in ensuring grants donations go to our programs; not marketing or executive salaries. 

Our Facility

FICS is located at Morgan Woods Park in Town n’ Country, Florida. Our facility includes the following:

Planning a Visit?

FICS In the News!

FICS was seen on ABC Nightly News. In the image, Jordon Montaez, 13, left, and Mariana Soto, 10, participate in e-learning Monday at the Florida Institute for Community Studies while director Alayne Unterberger talks with Soto’s teacher to troubleshoot issues on the first day of school for Hillsborough County in Tampa. (Ivy Ceballo/Tampa Bay Times/AP)

Interesting Facts

Achievements that we are proud of

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FICS Multicultural Center Visitors (since 2005)

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Documented Volunteer Hours Per Year

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Households Served in our Partners in Welness Program

Meet our Executive Director

Dr. Alayne Unterberger

Executive Director

Alayne is a co-founder of FICS, which grew out of a series of initiatives with community leaders, students, professors and activists from across the state. She is passionate about FICS’ motto: CARE. It stands for Community, Activism, Research and Education. These four pillars emerged from community participatory research and reflect our belief that communities know their strengths and needs best. We work to develop community voices to advocate for solutions that create the conditions for success.

Email: alayneu@ficsinc.org


  • PhD Medical Anthropology, University of Florida
  • MA Anthropology, University of South Florida
  • BA, International Relations and Spanish, Juniata College

Other Professional Activities:

  • Adjunct Professor of Public Health, University of South Florida
  • Adjunct Professor of Anthropology, Hillsborough Community College

Meet our Board Chairman

Mr. Carlton Lewis

Chairman of the Board

Education:  Bachelor of Arts, Human Resource Management, Saint Leo University

Awards and Honors:

  • Upper Tampa Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, Citizen of the Year 2005
  • Hillsborough County, Florida Citizenship Award 2004
  • Hillsborough County of Children Services Citizenship Award 2003
  • Hillsborough County Moral Courage Award, Timberlane Crime Watch 1993
  • Honor Graduate, Cum Laude, Saint Leo College, Delta Epsilon Sigma 1993
  • Veteran of 20 years United States Army, Military Intelligence, 1991

Volunteer With FICS


FICS is in constant need of volunteers. We are currently seeking 

  • Enthusiastic mentors
  • Event Volunteers
  • Data Entry Volunteers
  • Cleaning/Maintenance Volunteers


  • At Least 14 Years Old*
  • Orientation Mandatory

*If Under 18, a parent must attend orientation. 


Support FICS

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Donation Total: $5.00

FICS is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization, therefor all contributions are tax-deductible. Consult your tax professional for more details. 

Donations are processed securely through Stripe.  To view their privacy policy click here. 

Our Sponsors

FICS greatly appreciates the sponsorships within our community. For more information on how to sponsor FICS and our mission please contact our executive director by clicking here!

Contact Us



7510 Soccer Avenue
Tampa, FL 33634

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