For those who attend the Jacksonville Jaguars home games at EverBank Field, you're familiar with the "Honor Rows". It's that section in the north endzone with all the kids in the bright yellow shirts, you can't miss them. Wayne Weaver waves to them at every game. At the home opener against the Tennessee Titans, the Jaguars awarded tickets to roughly 500 students who earned a seat to the game through the Honor Rows program. The Jaguars will be awarding over 5,000 tickets to youth this season.
More than 5,000 youth will participate in the Jaguars Foundation's nationally recognized Honor Rows this year. The Foundation partners with 45 Jacksonville-area nonprofit agencies to provide goal-setting programs for economically and socially disadvantaged youth to earn a seat to a Jaguars home game. Since the inaugural season of 1995, a total of 61,280 Honor Rows seats have been awarded to youth, parents, staff and volunteers, including 5,000 for the 2011 season.
Youth ages 9 to 17 seek to improve themselves and the community by setting and achieving goals for academic and behavioral improvement, increasing physical activity and eating more nutritionally, and providing volunteer community service. Program duration is a minimum of eight weeks. The youth also take an anti-substance abuse pledge to abstain from illegal drugs, tobacco products and alcohol. The child's parents or guardians co-sign the pledge card agreeing to support the youth in their promise. Historically, with assistance from parents, mentors and agency staff, more than 90% of youth meet their goals and earn their seat.