MEDIA: GJCC Community Service Support Shared

MEDIA: GJCC Community Service Support Shared

The Gainesville Job Corps Center’s participation in the HIV/AIDS Performing Arts Contest was featured in the local newspaper, The Guardian. Below is the article or you can view it online at

Black AIDS Services & Education Inc. will be sponsoring its 10th annual AIDS Walk to heighten awareness and educate the community about the deadly disease.

The walk is being held in recognition of World AIDS Day, which is held every Dec. 1, and was started in 1988 by the World Health Organization. The theme this year is “Universal Access and Human Rights.”

Dr. Michael Bowie, president of BASE, said registration for the walk will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, with the walk at 9 a.m. from and back to DaySpring Baptist Church at 1945 NE 8th Ave. He said the walk will proceed toward NE 25th Street and turn right before making another right at NE 3rd Avenue and a right at NE 18th Street. Walkers will then make a right at NE 8th Avenue and end back at DaySpring.

“The goal is to make people more aware of HIV/AIDS and the effect it is having on the community,” Bowie said. He said the walk also has taken place in the historic NW 5th Avenue neighborhood in the past and it probably will be in another neighborhood in the community next year. BASE is a nonprofit organization that grew out of the now-defunct North Central Florida AIDS Network in 2000. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta recommends that all Americans ages 13-64 be tested for HIV at least once.

Figures show Florida ranks third nationally in total adult and adolescent HIV/AIDS cases and second in the number of pediatric HIV/AIDS cases.

Bowie said the walk will feature the talent of a student who attends the Gainesville Job Corps Center. BASE sponsored a visual and performing arts competition last month at the center and the winner of the visual arts contest will have his artwork printed on the official BASE AIDS Walk sweatshirts, which can be purchased Saturday at the walk.

Barbara Walker, human resource director at Job Corps, said Jeff Jeudy, a 21-year-old medical assistant student from Haiti, won first place in the visual arts competition with a drawing showing a baby painted white to illustrate transparency with a red ribbon around its neck to symbolize HIV/AIDS.

She said the slogan on the picture reads, “You Can’t Tell By Looking at Me.”

“The artist was trying to show that it could be anyone,” said Walker, adding that BASE is one of the center’s business partners and the competition will become an annual event. The judges of the contest were from the Gainesville community.

The second-place winner in the visual arts contest was Robert Marryshow, who used his drawing of fists to get his message across. During the performing arts contest, Job Corps students recited original poems and sang songs. The winners of that contest were Kenneth White, who won first place for a rap and dance routine that wowed the students and the judges, and Calvin Washington, who won the judges over with his poem.

Bowie said BASE has been sponsoring the walk since 2002, and it averages between 75-100 participants each year. He said, this year, walkers will distribute condoms and educate people they encounter about HIV/AIDS.

“Our main goal is to educate,” Bowie said.

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