Elijah Emanuel, facility manager for the Carver Center in Flagler County, has been named the 2017 Northeast Florida Community Action Agency’s “Outstanding Community Leadership Award” winner.
Flagler County Human Resources Director Joe Mayer, a board member of the agency, nominated Emanuel.
“Certainly a highlight of being part of the Northeast Florida Community Action Agency is having the opportunity to let others know that Flagler County is a wonderful community of residents who care about the well-being of one another,” Mayer said.
Helping kids, community
Emanuel, who was born and raised in Bunnell, said his purpose is to make sure he can give young people an avenue to make wise decisions.
“I want them to be productive citizens, and I want to be remembered as a person who cared about those children,” he said.
The Carver Center, formerly the Carver Gym – the only remaining building of Flagler County’s all-Black G.W. Carver High School, was saved from closure in 2010.
Management of the facility – and Emanuel’s employment – shifted from the county to the Flagler County School Board. The new direction allowed Emanuel to extend his reach further into the community.
‘A big heart’
Carver Center is now a recreational facility that offers tutoring, after-school study, and has internet access. It also offers GED classes, employment counseling and other services. It supports a summer camp and numerous athletic tournaments.
Representatives of the Northeast Florida Community Action Agency presented Emanuel with the award at the Aug. 7 regular meeting of the Board of County Commissioners.
“Elijah Emanuel has a big heart,” said Flagler Commission Chair Nate McLaughlin. “The good he brings to the community is immeasurable.”
Previous Flagler recipients
This is the third consecutive year a Flagler County resident has received the award.
Carla Traister, director and founder of The Sheltering Tree, received the award in 2016. The Sheltering Tree is a non-denominational civic organization that provides cold-weather sheltering on nights when the temperature dips below 40 degrees – typically 9 to 40 times each year.
Pastor Charles Silano received the award in 2015. He is the founder of Grace Tabernacle Ministries, which operates the Grace Community Food Pantry.
He also is involved with Access Flagler First – which provides a variety of social services once every other month, and operates a faith-based, jail diversion and addiction recovery program called Open Door Recovery.