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10 deserving youth granted shopping sprees as reward for achievements

It’s not every day someone gets offered a chance to go on a shopping spree, and certainly the same is true for young kids.

That’s just what 10 deserving youth got at a Daytona Beach Academy Sports and Outdoors.

“The best part of all this is giving back to the community,” said Nicholas Roos, a Bethune-Cookman University graduate student and offensive lineman. “It felt good helping set an example for youth.”

The 10 kids were identified because they have made good decisions, exhibited great work ethic and showed leadership potential in programs sponsored by the City of Daytona Beach Leisure Services Department.

Jhavin Westbrook, Evans, Christian De La Payne, Johman Gorman, Mario Turner, Terriahna Williams, Anastia Neal, Jade Parks, Ta’Klee Bostics and Sani Ganes got to spend an afternoon hanging out with B-CU coaches, student-athletes, staff and local dignitaries before being presented $100 gift cards.

Each kid was paired with a B-CU Wildcat and released in the store to choose any items they wanted.

B-CU President Dr. LaBrent Chrite said the “great day affirmed the best of Bethune-Cookman and the Daytona Beach communities.”

“The generosity and warmth and commitment displayed today to members of our community was special,” he said. “It’s the season of advent, so this is a time to be engaged in activities like this. To see our student-athletes participating is an affirmation that we are inextricably connected to this community.”

Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young, also a graduate of B-CU, said it was an event that held a special meaning for him.

“This is an honor,” Young said. “It’s a combination of being a B-CU alum and the highest ranking law enforcement for the city being able to take part in a giveaway for deserving children in a trying year like this has been. I can’t think of a better place to be.”

Academy’s regional marketing specialist, Mike Reynolds, said the everyone at the company was excited to team up with the university to donate fun sports and outdoors products and gift cards to the kids.

“We’re very proud to work with these organizations that do so much in the community and help make the holidays a little brighter for some local children,” Reynolds said.