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News & Notes from JASMYN                                                                          July 2015

Board of Directors

Bruce Musser


Dr. Jim Crooks
Vice Chair 


Gerry Orton 



Barbara Drake



Dr. Afesa Adams


Edi Castro


Gregory Foster, Esq.


Charles Garrison


Dr. Holly Hamilton


Kelly James


David Rinzler


Dr. Tom Serwatka


Lori Shad


Billy Wells


Veronica Wilson


Josh Zmroczek


JASMYN Properties Board
  David Rinzler


Bruce Musser
Vice Chair 

Barbara Drake

Cindy Watson

Edi Castro

Dr. Jay Dutton


Jimmy Midyette, Esq. 



Cindy Watson
Executive Director


Dan Merkan

Director of Evaluation and Technology

Emily Rokosch

Director of Operations


Angela Strain

Director of Development


Sabrina Cluesman

Assistant Director of Services


Tim Jefferson

Assistant Director of Programs


MJ Cranston

Testing Coordinator


Bradley Landon
Case Manager 


Princess Burch

Case Manager


Kaitlyn Dulmes

Patient Navigator


Toni Liggins

Case Manager


Riece Hamilton

Case Manager for Homeless Youth


Heather Loran

High School Teen Clinics Manager


Ace Canessa

Student Support Coordinator


Edmon Galloway

Outreach Specialist


Jensen Lindquist

Outreach Specialist


Evelyn Wilkinson

Finance Manager


We Appreciate Our Sponsors 

Upcoming Events

August 14, 2015

October 16, 2015

Have you visited our Food Pantry Wishlist on Amazon? We make it easy for you to help keep our pantry stocked for our JASMYN youth.

In case you haven't been there, we want you to know that donations to the pantry always slow down during the summer months when people are focused on vacations and getting out of town. But our teens and young adults need the support just as much as other times of the year.

These items are the highest priority of all those on the Wishlist:
Chef Boyardee Microwavable Beef Ravioli

Ramen Noodles Variety Pack

Orville Rdenbacher's  Popcorn

With your help, our youth will continue to turn to JASMYN for food basics and hot meals. We appreciate all you do to support them!

Join Our List

Donate to JASMYN!

In This Issue

JASMYN, along with the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality, were local sponsors of LGBT programming

presented by WJCT Public Television in June, in recognition of Pride Month.

Along with other shows where our TV spot was aired, our sponsorship supported the local airing of the Frontline episode, " Growing UP Trans," a look at
transgender children and their families who were willing to share stories of the struggles and choices they faced as they considered transitioning.

You can view it here:

We are proud to support this type of programming and believe that educating the greater community and advocating for our LGBT youth will ultimately result in a better and more accepting Jacksonville.

Follow this link to see the TV spot that aired throughout the month.


JASMYN youth and staff participated in many events and activities to commemorate the 2015 Pride Month in Jacksonville. Even though Jacksonville's local Parade and Pride Day take place in October, there were a lot of things going on throughout our area during June.

We started the month by joining dbPRide, the Deutsche Bank LGBT Affinity group, at a ceremony that raised the Rainbow Flag at the Bank's campus to acknowledge Pride Month. 


Two weeks later, some of our youth participated in a panel hosted by the Wells Fargo

Diversity Inclusion Council to discuss the challenges they face as LGBT young people. 

Later in the month, JASMYN was represented at the very first LGBT Pride event ever held at NASJax. Our own Dan Merkan, Director of Evaluation & Technology and Chair of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality (JCE), along with former board member, Frieda Saraga, representing PFLAG Jax (also a member of JCE), participated in a Lunch and Learn at the base. A standing-room-only crowd attracted military and civilian personnel, including the Base Commander and other high-ranking officials. Dan and Frieda and a variety of military speakers were participated on the panel.


The crowning event for the national LGBT community came on Friday, June 26th when the Supreme Court issued its ruling making same-sex marriage the law of the land. While this is a momentous event for everyone, it is particularly meaningful for our youth who, suddenly, can envision a future for themselves that they could never before imagine. 

This ruling is a game-changer for the way they can see their lives unfolding. It's a thrilling time to work with youth who have more reason than ever to be hopeful

about their future. 


We had a display table and provided information to everyone attending all three performances of this year's Coming Out Monologues. Presented at WJCT Studios, proceeds from the production benefited JASMYN and PFLAG Jax. In the four years since the event has been staged locally, this year saw the biggest audiences in its history.


JASMYN also represented at the third annual Get Inspired 6K,   a downtown

Jacksonville run, benefitting HIV/AIDS and JASMYN.


JASMYN to Conduct a Workshop at 

2015 TEACH Conference

Exhibiting at TEACH 2013

For the third consecutive year, on September 12, 2015 JASMYN will attend and exhibit at TEACH, a conference to engage, empower and inspire teachers, hosted by WJCT Public Broadcasting. 


What make this year special is that, for the first time, we will present a workshop on LGBTQ student safety issues and resources for the teachers attending the conference.


"Conference organizers are pleased to add a workshop on LGBTQ issues," said JASMYN Executive Director, Cindy Watson. "Teachers are facing challenges every day in their classrooms as LGBTQ students are confronted with bullying and other safety issues. We're happy to help train them on the best way to support students and provide educators with the tools they need to be effective." 

National HIV Testing Day
Backyard Party a Success

The rain couldn't dampen the partying, entertainment and special guest Dwight Eubanks during the Backyard Party to commemorate the 2015 National HIV Testing Day on June 27th. JASMYN youth, staff, friends & supporters and others in the community came by throughout the day for free rapid HIV testing and information about local resources. And great food and music, of course!


During the first quarter of 2015, 85% of the new HIV cases in Florida's Area 4 (our region) were reported from Duval County, followed by Clay  County with 8%. In addition, 93% of the AIDS cases reported resided in Duval County. 


During the first six months of this year, JASMYN staff completed 470 HIV tests in our clinics, on our campus, and in the community. Of these, six were reactive (1.27%). In addition, eight newly-HIV positive youth were brought into care with our case management team. 


In Jacksonville, there was a 59% increase in the number of new cases of HIV during January-March 2015 over the same period in 2014.

JASMYN continues to  work with community partners to address the explosion of HIV in our community. To find out how you can help support this important work, contact Angela Strain.


This Summer's Benefit Event for JASMYN 
Will be the Best Ever

Bring your golden ticket into the woods on Friday, August 14th to the 6th Annual JASMYN Benefit -  Feel the Fantasy
a whimsical night of imagination in motion.

You are encouraged to dress as your favorite "fictional character from any genre" and follow the yellow brick road to the enchanted forest at The Museum for a night of over the top costumes, dancing, drinks, food trucks, and merriment. Costume attire is not required, it is highly suggested. 
Come one, come all, we're all mad here...

Feel the Fantasy is hosted by friends Billy Wells, Kerry Boatwright, Ginger Harris, and Karma Edwards. The event benefits JASMYN  and is our largest annual fundraiser. You can purchase tickets here.

Last year's event, "Feel tha Flashback," was an '80s-themed spectacle attended by more than 400 guests and raised over $50,000 for JASMYN.

One-hundred percent of ticket, online auction, and cash bar proceeds benefit the youth, programs, and mission of JASMYN.

Do you have any items that you would like to contribute to the Silent Auction at Feel the Fantasy? We're looking for things our partygoers can't resist! Let is know if you can help by sending us an email today.

Everyone 21+ is welcome to attend. For more information and to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit the event's Facebook page.