The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to recognize the Florida Institute for Community Studies for its dedication to service while overcoming the daunting challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
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.
Based on 2018 financial reports. FICS exceeds in the industry standards in ensuring grants donations go to our programs; not marketing or executive salaries.
FICS is located at Morgan Woods Park in Town n’ Country, Florida. Our facility includes the following:
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)
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.
Other Professional Activities:
Chairman of the Board
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Human Resource Management, Saint Leo University
Awards and Honors:
FICS is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization, therefor all contributions are tax-deductible. Consult your tax professional for more details.
Carlton Lewis, Chair
Dr. Georgina Rivera-Singletary PhD