The Gifford Youth Achievement Center’s (GYAC) Executive Director, Angelia Perry, was recently named Junior League of Indian River County’s Woman of the Year in the Civic/Non-Profit Professional category. Historically celebrated as a luncheon, this year’s ceremony was offered virtually.
In its eighth year, Woman of the Year awards are held annually by Junior League of Indian River County to recognize the outstanding contributions women in our county make to the local community. As described by Chelsea Miller, President of the Junior League of Indian River, “A Woman of the Year nominee is a woman who demonstrates high ethical standards, is a recognized role model, has a strong sense of community responsibility and is outstanding in her contributions within Indian River County.”
Introducing the list of nominees and their accomplishments for the Civic/Non-Profit Professional was the League’s Immediate Past President, Meg Cunningham. Nominees included: Renee Bireley, Dr. Crystal Bujol, Megan McFall, Dr. Kerryanne Monahan, Angelia Perry, Sabrina Sampson, Patti Sullivan and Mary Volsky.
During the ceremony Perry was recognized for her accomplishments and longstanding service to the community. Her involvement with GYAC began in 2002 as the Community Liaison for the Front Porch Florida Initiative started by Governor Jeb Bush. Perry was then selected to serve the Center as interim director, a position that became permanent in 2007. She also co-founded Boys 2 Men 2 Greatness, a program that pairs teenage boys with male role models, who together experience field trips, college tours and educational adventures.
Perry’s grant writing talents have increased the financial stability of GYAC, and she played a pivotal role in renegotiating GYAC’s land lease with the County from 30 to 100 years. The Center currently operates five days a week with programs for adults and seniors in the morning and vibrant academic programs for youth during after school hours.
Most recently, Perry spearheaded a significant capital campaign to expand GYAC’s footprint. The campaign was deemed necessary due to a lack of space required to serve a continuous waitlist with over 50 students. A feasibility study established three financial priorities: $3 million for the construction of a 14,000 square foot educational center, $400,000 for increased operational expenses for year one and $4 million endowment to ensure future sustainability. In January 2020, GYAC surpassed their $7.4 million goal.
Perry’s professional affiliations include: Association of Fundraising Professionals,IRC Chamber Leadership Alumni, Member of the Progressive Civic League of Gifford, FL Inc., Visiting Nurse Association Treasure Coast Board, Riverside Children’s Theatre Advisory Board, Children’s Home Society Advisory Board Treasure Coast Division, NAACP, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, SDIRC Grading Calculation Committee, Past President of Bethune Cookman University Alumni Association of IRC, Past President of Community Oriented Police Enforcement (COPE) and past volunteer for the Gifford Youth Orchestra.
The Gifford Youth Achievement Center opened its doors in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) with the sole purpose of enhancing the academic performance of children in Indian River County. In addition to year-round educational programs and enrichment opportunities for youth, GYAC also provides activities for adults and seniors citizens, such as exercise classes, bible study and specialty workshops. The Center also hosts job fairs, health clinics, community gatherings and serves as an information hub for those in need of services.
About Junior League of Indian River
The Junior League of Indian River is an organization of women serving Indian River County since 1990. We are committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action of trained volunteers.