Mutual of America, a Premier Trusted Partner of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, nationally honored Alliance member Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS) in Winter Park, Florida, with its 2017 Community Partnership Award. The award recognizes CHS for its transformative impact in Orlando’s Pine Hills neighborhood. 

In 2012, CHS brought the Community Partnership School model to Evans High School, in partnership with Orange County Public Schools, the University of Central Florida, and Orange Blossom Family Health. 

The first school of its kind in Florida, Evans High School provides a range of social services, on-site counseling programs, medical and dental services, after-school enrichment and mentoring, and transportation and meals, aimed at raising the academic ground floor and empowering students to succeed.

“Often, the needs of students and community are greater than a school’s capacity to meet those needs,” said Michael Shaver, president and CEO of CHS. “Our community impact model enables us to collaborate with school staff to ensure the nearly 2,600 students at Evans Community Partnership School are receiving the academic, social-emotional and developmental services they need to reach their full potential.”

Five years after implementing the model, Evans has 15 organizations working collaboratively to build bridges to success for youth in Pine Hills and Central Florida. Since implementation, graduation rates have increased from 64 percent to 80 percent, math and reading proficiency rates have risen, and disciplinary referrals have fallen by half. By reshaping the future of students, CHS sees greater potential for students to invest in their community and create a stronger overall economy. 

Learn more about the partnership by watching CHS' award video.

Each year, the Mutual of America Community Partnership Award honors community contributions that human services organizations make in partnership with public, private, and other social sector organizations. 

Two other Alliance members were recognized by Mutual of America for their work in their communities. Children’s Home + Aid in Chicago received honorable mention for its Power of Fathers program, and Family Service of Rhode Island gained recognition as a merit finalist for its Go-Team Policy Partnership program. 

Learn more about the Community Partnership Award, Mutual of America, and the Alliance's Trusted Partner program online.