The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding $ 424,821 to a Pinellas County nonprofit, U.S. Representative Charlie Crist announced this week.
The grant will be awarded to Life Skills, Empowerment and Development Services (LEADS), a non-profit organization based in Largo. The award will fund the organization’s health education and relationship training (HEARTS) camps for high school students.
As a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, Crist helped raise $ 35 million in FY2021 for the HHS Sexual Risks Education Program, under which this grant is funded.
“LEADS supports the families of Pinellas by providing children of all ages with resources to help them develop emotionally,” Crist said in a statement. âI am delighted to see this well-deserved grant given to HEARTS camps as they teach young people the skills they need for safe and healthy interpersonal relationships. “
The HEARTS program promotes the development of high school students by making them aware of healthy relationship practices and sexual respect. The camp seeks to teach teens to make wise choices that will result in positive interpersonal environments in the future.
The association continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, offering its services free of charge. Its HEARTS camps reach hundreds of high school students each year to promote emotional, social and academic skills, and to prevent and reduce risky behavior.