Elijah Emanuel was born and raised in Bunnell and gives back to the community in his role at the George Washington Carver Community Center.
By Julie Murphy, guest writer
The Carver Center’s facility manager, Elijah Emanuel, has been named the 2017 Northeast Florida Community Action Agency’s “Outstanding Community Leadership Award” winner.
“Elijah Emanuel has a big heart,” Commission Chair Nate McLaughlin said. “The good he brings to the community is immeasurable.”
Flagler County Human Resources Director Joe Mayer is a board member of the agency, and nominated Emanuel based on selection criteria including: serves a vital role that is not otherwise fulfilled in the community; inspires others to engage in community service; and, consistently demonstrates results.
“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. “This is the third consecutive year a Flagler County resident has been a recipient of this 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 founded Grace Tabernacle Ministries, which operates the Grace Community Food Pantry. He 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.
Emanuel was born and raised in Bunnell. His for the few square blocks he has called home for most of his life drives him to make a difference in the lives of the children growing up there now.
“I want them to be productive citizens, and I want to be remembered as a person who cared about those children,” he said. “My purpose is to make sure I can give young people an avenue to make a wise decision.”
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.
Carver Center is now a recreational facility that also offers tutoring, after school study, internet access, as well as providing the community with GED classes, employment counseling and other services. It supports the Road to Success program, the AIM 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.
Julie Murphy is a public information officer for Flagler County.