By Gwen Rollings
Much has remained the same and much has changed since the IMPACT Program, Inc. began over 20 years ago. What remained through two decades are the many dedicated people who continue to extend their support and the hundreds of teens’ lives that have been positively influenced.
Perhaps most importantly, the vision has remained unchanged: to serve the community in public and private middle and high schools, churches and community organizations in the area of sexual risk avoidance. Through its Teen IMPACT, Parent Program and Classroom Education, teens are encouraged to say ‘yes’ to healthy relationships and a positive future by saying ‘no’ to premarital sex, drugs, tobacco and alcohol.
The changes include the name of the prevention program initially established at LifeCare (now known as Choices). Angie Kagey became the prevention service director in August 2000. Since that time, the prevention services department became IMPACT.
IMPACT was able to secure two large, federally-funded grants. According to Kagey, executive director of the nonprofit organization, “In 2010, the funding stream from the federal grant was lost due to the change in political climate. IMPACT was then launched as its own 501(c)(3) by Choices, Life Impact Network and Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City.”
Another change, due COVID-19, prevented in-person presentations and necessitated professional films to be made available to youth organizations in Hillsborough and Polk Counties.
The most current change is in its office location. Since 2010, Jim and Marilyn Hough of Hough Financial Services graciously provided office space. Due to the potential growth and possible expansion for Hough Financial Services, IMPACT moved out in January.
It was home-based then with equipment kept in storage until, as Kagey said, “God showed us our next steps.” That happened shortly as Choices providentially moved to a new location, and the Choices space became available again…where it first began. It needs supporters to help raise $15,000 to cover relocation expenses.
Kagey said, “We are so excited about the opportunity to ‘come home.’ I can’t begin to tell you what a joy it would be to be back in the space that God has used for many years, and we anticipate will continue to be used for His purposes.”
Consider becoming a partner by making a contribution through the website at www.whatisimpact.com or by contacting Kagey at 264-9368.