From its inception in 1960 until 2000, the Jacksonville Joe Berg Seminars operated as a Special Program within the Duval County School System. In 2000, the University of North Florida assumed sponsorship of the program. But with the state budget cuts of 2008, the University was forced to make tough decisions of its own, and could no longer provide financial support for the Joe Berg Seminars. However, UNF has continued to provide a Faculty Advisor, use of facilities, and library privileges for the students. But unless the funding necessary to operate the program could be found elsewhere, the Seminars would cease to exist! The UNF Foundation opened an account for donations to our program, and we began to seek funding from Corporations, Foundations, and concerned citizens. In this manner, we have managed to keep the program in operation since the summer of 2008.
Together, we can ensure that this valuable program continues.
Please consider the value of Joe Berg to our future leaders. After 50 years in Jacksonville, the Joe Berg Seminars continues to provide 24 to 28 ninety-minute seminars per year, each of which is attended by 60-75 outstanding Duval County high school students. The Society includes 150-170 gifted students from 16-18 local high schools. These students attend the non-credit seminars because they value the quality and diversity of the programs. Our dynamic speakers come from UNF, Jacksonville University, Florida State College at jacksonville, and a variety of professional and artistic areas of expertise. They are eager to share their passion with this group of inquisitive students, and many of them have come back again and again when asked. Many organizations also invite us to return repeatedly for tours and demonstrations, including the Mayo Research Laboratories, Theatre Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Zoo, the Cummer Gallery, MOCA Jax, the UNF Gallery, the Haskel Corporation, Baptist Cancer Clinic, the Jacksonville Skyway, and the MOSH. The World Affairs Council of Jacksonville has begun publicly recognizing Joe Berg students attending their Global Issues Lecture Series. We estimate that we receive over $40,000 per year of in-kind contributions from concerned citizens and organizations in our community! This compares very favorably with our total budget (details available on request) of $12,000 per year.
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