Since 1993, Panama City’s After School Assistance Program (A.S.A.P) has provided more than 800 kids with a safe-haven after school.
Former Panama City Mayor, Gerry Clemons’ son, Ross Clemons, said creating a place like this for children was a vision of his late mother, Barbara.
“Her passion was for helping young kids who didn’t necessarily have a place to go after the school day to have a place to go where they could continue their education,” he said.
Mayor Clemons had a similar vision.
Ross said his dad wanted to provide adults of Bay County with an institution where they could receive a four-year degree.
Friday morning, the five Clemons’ children brought their parents’ dreams together.
The family donated $100,000 to FSU-Panama City for scholarships specifically for A.S.A.P students.
“We don’t want them to be limited, we want them to have the opportunity,” Ross said.”We want one of those children to be able to use this scholarship to finish a four-year degree here in Panama City.”
Joyce Comer, an alumni of A.S.A.P is following this path.
She is currently studying Social Sciences at FSU-Panama City and has started a family of her own.
She said this was made possible by her time at A.S.A.P
“It’s because of A.S.A.P that I am a better person, therefore, I’m a better mom. And being apart of this community, it excites me. It brings me so much joy to know that not only my child, but other children will be able to benefit from this,” Comer said.
Through the Clemons’ family donation Comer’s reality is now a possibility for many more children.
The family is also donating $38,000 to go toward A.S.A.P’s new building in St. Andrews.
A.S.A.P will be naming the new facility the ‘Barbara Clemons A.S.A.P Building.’