Emma Jewel Charter Academy and Cocoa Redevelopment Plan

27 June 2013

Emma Jewel Charter Academy is making improvements in Cocoa's Diamond Square area

emmajewel-and-tcole-250x250Florida Today has featured Emma Jewel Charter Academy in Cocoa, and its founder Thomas Cole, in an article published on June 22. Emma Jewel Charter Academy, with financing from Florida Community Loan Fund (FCLF) and others, will renovate the once-vacant Monroe Center school building and open a new charter school this fall. The project has the full support of Brevard County and the City of Cocoa, as noted in the Florida Today article.

"Emma Jewel Charter Academy is truly blessed to have the opportunity to partner with the Florida Community Loan Fund.  Their staff shares our vision and commitment towards serving needy families and providing a high quality education to all children." - Thomas Cole, Founder and Principal, Emma Jewel Charter School

A portion of the Florida Today article appears below. Click here to read the entire article.


Cocoa updates plan for Diamond Square
Input needed for changes

fltoday-tcole-300x200Jun. 22, 2013
Written by Scott Gunnerson
FLORIDA TODAY
(photo by Scott Gunnerson, FLORIDA TODAY) 

Thomas Cole grew up in the city’s most economically depressed area and returned to help lead a recovery 15 years in the making.

He plans to open the Emma Jewel Charter Academy at the one-time, all-black Monroe High, hoping to build on the progress to redevelop the Diamond Square area on both sides of State Road 520, west of the Florida East Coast Railroad tracks. “It is a new beginning for Diamond Square, there are a lot of positive things going on in the community,” Cole said. “It’s my hope that this brings commerce back to the community.”

In 1998, the Diamond Square Community Redevelopment Agency adopted a plan to revitalize the area of Cocoa where African-Americans settled 100 year ago. So far, most of the improvements have addressed health and safety issues. Pay phones and abandoned houses that were part of drug activity were removed. Law enforcement concentrated community policing on the area. Drainage pipes and retention ponds were added to ease the risk of flooding. “There were a lot of drainage issues, blight, crime and other things that were a part of that area that needed some correction,” said Tracy Moore, Diamond Square Community Redevelopment Agency vice chair.

Cole, who named Emma Jewel Charter Academy after his grandmother, expects the school to be a catalyst for business in Diamond Square as parents and guardians for 200 students travel back and forth from the campus.

“It is our belief that if we frontload all of our efforts into the children, they will have an impact on the community,” Cole said. “I grew up in this community and my goal is to come back and initiate positive change here.”

The Diamond Square Community Redevelopment Agency is updating the plan that was initiated in 1998. Diamond Square straddles State Road 520 west of the railroad tracks in Cocoa.

"FCLF has proven its community impact and hard work. We are proud to partner with FCLF." – Leslie Watson, Analyst, Community Investments

Dignity Health

"It is really working. FCLF is really touching low-income people." – Florida Community Loan Fund Founding Board Member

Sister Mary Heyser, RSHM

“FCLF is much more than a financing entity; they are the ultimate partner. They are on the front line protecting and building resources for the most vulnerable in our community."– Seth Eisenberg

Purpose Built Families Foundation

“Thanks to FCLF adults with disabilities are living independently, fully included in their community." – Sheryl Soukup, Exec Dir

Residential Options of Florida

"We're thrilled to partner with FCLF to make our project a reality to serve generations of kids in our community." – Dawn Stanhope, President & CEO

Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County

"FCLF shows a clear strategy and demonstrated evidence of addressing prevalent community needs." – J. Reymundo Ocañas, Director, Corp Responsibility

BBVA Compass

"FCLF staff shares our vision and commitment to serve needy families and provide a high quality education to all children." – Thomas Cole, Founder

Emma Jewel Charter Academy

“Expanding our facility with NMTC financing provides the Overtown community resources necessary to provide a fighting chance to break down barriers and break the cycles of poverty.” – Tina Brown, CEO

Overtown Youth Center

"Without the FCLF initial loan to purchase land, we might not have been able to move forward with farmworker housing." – Peter Routsis-Arroyo, CEO, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice

Casa San Juan Bosco

"Cade Museum is proud to be partners with FCLF and JPMorgan Chase. Thanks to the NMTC Program, we will provide a transformative asset to our community." – Jennifer Denault, COO

Cade Museum for Creativity & Inventi…

“FCLF will help us have significant ongoing impact in West Lakes as we help families set roots in this community.” – Camille Reynolds, Executive Director

Hannibal Square CLT

"We consider FCLF a valued partner and strong advocates for low-income communities and families. We look forward to many more years of working together." – Jennifer Westerbeck, Vice President

US Bancorp CDC

"Trinity Health is happy to partner with FCLF. We look forward to seeing the impact in the communities you serve." – Sr. Kathleen Coll, SSJ, Administrator, Shareholder Advocacy

Trinity Health

"FCLF is a difference maker! Their team provides solutions to bring about real change in a community." – Tim Marks, President & CEO

Metropolitan Ministries

“FCLF addresses local community needs, which aligns with our core values. We appreciate your commitment to our communities.” – Mellissa Slover-Athey, Comm Reinv Ofcr

CenterState Bank

“Thanks to FCLF we’re able to provide brand-new safe, affordable homes for 90 families in a sustainable mixed-use, mixed-income community." – Mitchell Rosenstein, Founder & Principal

Green Mills Group

"BankUnited understands the challenges facing our communities; we applaud FCLF's efforts. Thank you for making our community a better place to live." – Katrina Wright, VP Comm. Dev.

BankUnited

"The Fathers Table Foundation appreciates the services FCLF provides and the impact on the communities you serve. We believe in your organization and your mission." – Dan Gilardi, President

Fathers Table Foundation

"FCLF understood our context, embraced the project vision, and were willing to make an investment that others deemed as too risky." – Lynn Brockwell-Carey, Executive Director

Neighbor Up Brevard

"FCLF plays a significant role in sustaining vibrant and thriving communities. We are pleased to support your ongoing community based efforts." – Ernie Diaz, South Florida Market President

TD Charitable Foundation

Our Partners

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, financed the land for farmworker rental housing with FCLF.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, financed the land for farmworker rental housing with FCLF.
Support from Axiom Bank helps FCLF build strong communities.
Support from Axiom Bank helps FCLF build strong communities.
Emma Jewel Charter Academy offers education  for the whole child in Brevard County.
Emma Jewel Charter Academy offers education for the whole child in Brevard County.
FCLF staff and supporters volunteer at Million Meals event.
FCLF staff and supporters volunteer at Million Meals event.
DuPuis Pointe offers affordable, hurricane proof homes in Miami.
DuPuis Pointe offers affordable, hurricane proof homes in Miami.
FCLF CEO and one of our supporters visit the ASPIRA Arts Deco school.
FCLF CEO and one of our supporters visit the ASPIRA Arts Deco school.
FCLF Staff are on hand at conferences and events to discuss our programs.
FCLF Staff are on hand at conferences and events to discuss our programs.
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
FCLF supporter, the Northern Trust Company, hosted a housing roundtable in Sarasota.
FCLF supporter, the Northern Trust Company, hosted a housing roundtable in Sarasota.
Greater Heights offers new, safe, affordable rental homes in what was formerly a high crime area.
Greater Heights offers new, safe, affordable rental homes in what was formerly a high crime area.
Support from Valley Bank helps FCLF build strong communities.
Support from Valley Bank helps FCLF build strong communities.
FCLF representatives are ready to talk about your project success.
FCLF representatives are ready to talk about your project success.
FCLF and the NMTC Program renovated a historic building into a small business incubaor.
FCLF and the NMTC Program renovated a historic building into a small business incubaor.
TD Charitable Foundation and TD Bank have supported FCLF's mission since 2006.
TD Charitable Foundation and TD Bank have supported FCLF's mission since 2006.
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
FCLF projects create jobs and stimulate development in low-income communities.
Neighbor Up, formerly BNDC, offers affordable housing in Brevard County.
Neighbor Up, formerly BNDC, offers affordable housing in Brevard County.
FCLF staff with local supporters at Metropolitan Ministries Tampa.
FCLF staff with local supporters at Metropolitan Ministries Tampa.
FCLF Financing to Neighbor Up Brevard helps provide affordable rental housing.
FCLF Financing to Neighbor Up Brevard helps provide affordable rental housing.
Rep. Ander Crenshaw visited KIPP Jacksonville School
Rep. Ander Crenshaw visited KIPP Jacksonville School
Support from TD Bank Charitable Foundation helps FCLF build strong communities.
Support from TD Bank Charitable Foundation helps FCLF build strong communities.
The duPont Fund used FCLF and NMTC Financing to revitalize downtown Jacksonville.
The duPont Fund used FCLF and NMTC Financing to revitalize downtown Jacksonville.
FCLF Chief Lending Officer visits with the Executive Director of Neighbor Up (formerly BNDC)
FCLF Chief Lending Officer visits with the Executive Director of Neighbor Up (formerly BNDC)
FCLF staff and US Legislative staff at an event honoring Youth of the Year.
FCLF staff and US Legislative staff at an event honoring Youth of the Year.
FCLF Board Members represent our investors, borrowers, and technical experts.
FCLF Board Members represent our investors, borrowers, and technical experts.
ASPIRA of Florida offers education & mentoring with a focus on low-income and Latino students.
ASPIRA of Florida offers education & mentoring with a focus on low-income and Latino students.
FCLF staff are active at statewide conferences and events.
FCLF staff are active at statewide conferences and events.
FCLF and NMTC are creating a new facility for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County
FCLF and NMTC are creating a new facility for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County
FCLF financing to Housing Programs, Inc. helps provide affordable homes for ownership.
FCLF financing to Housing Programs, Inc. helps provide affordable homes for ownership.
The RCRI Conference allows FCLF staff to touch base with our religious supporters.
The RCRI Conference allows FCLF staff to touch base with our religious supporters.
Nutritious snacks are a part of the healthy focused curriculum at Emma Jewel Charter Academy.
Nutritious snacks are a part of the healthy focused curriculum at Emma Jewel Charter Academy.
Rep. Daniel Webster visited FCLF staff.
Rep. Daniel Webster visited FCLF staff.
Residents at Neighborhood Renaissance's Mathis Place enjoy affordable rent.
Residents at Neighborhood Renaissance's Mathis Place enjoy affordable rent.
New rental homes are available for farmworker families at Casa San Juan Bosco.
New rental homes are available for farmworker families at Casa San Juan Bosco.
FCLF Staff meet and greet friends at an FLACDC event.
FCLF Staff meet and greet friends at an FLACDC event.
Previous Next
Core Purpose FCLF exists to maximize opportunities for people and places outside of the economic mainstream.
Our Vision Opportunity and dignity exist for every person and community in Florida.
Our Mission Our expertise and capital make projects successful and help organizations improve lives and communities.