For Love of Children (FLOC), a nonprofit that provides educational support services to help students succeed, started in the height of the Civil Rights movement in 1965. At its annual breakfast fundraiser last week at the Marriott Wardman Park, the organization — which now operates in the District as well as West Virginia — celebrated historic achievements and future ambitions.
“They’ve got the secret sauce,” said Colin Kimpel, Partner at Veritas Financial. “I know it takes a lot of helping hands and guidance,” said the father of three young children, who has also been a FLOC board member for 7 years. “So this is all about giving inner city kids in DC opportunities.”
While DC Public Schools has a graduation of rate of around 69%, 100% of youth who go through FLOC’s programming graduate, and most go on to higher education. This happens through FLOC’s “family like” atmosphere, one-on-one guided tutoring, special technological programs, and mentorship.
Among those in attendance at the breakfast were Director of the Department of Energy and the Environment Tommy Wells, former FLOC leaders Cindy Gertz and Tim Payne, and past board members and volunteers, like Marty Scherr. The annual fundraising event also served as a tribute to Fred Taylor, co-Founder of FLOC, who was on hand to receive the organization’s first Lifetime Achievement Award.
“I embody the history [of FLOC] and it is my privilege to share that history,” Taylor said from the podium. “For many people, the Civil Rights movement was ancient history, but for many in this room, it was real. If there is any movement that needs to be revved right now, it is the legacy of the vision of the Civil Rights movement… FLOC has always helped children caught in quicksand to get on solid ground.”
Honoring its past while sharing the future vision, FLOC was also proud to announce its new headquarters in Eastern Market, share new partnerships to expand its reach and serve more students, and introduce a new Executive Director, Brandelyn Anderson.
“As the new Executive Director and first black women to hold this position, I want to shift the focus away from what our kids may or may not have and refocus on where they can go,” Anderson said. “These kids still need direction, they need an ear, they need tissue for those tears … including tears of joy,” she said, sharing stories about her own early college mishaps. “No matter how many pivots in life you take, those things are not a determining factor in how far you can go.”
While totals are still be counted, FLOC’s 2019 fundraising breakfast brought in nearly $95,000 in crucial funds to benefit its Neighborhood Tutoring Program and City Leaders Program.