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Baxley Wilderness

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Che Gookin:

anything on this place?

DannyB II:

--- Quote from: Che Gookin ---http://

anything on this place?[/quote

 :shamrock:  :shamrock:
They take kids that would otherwise be hanging out in juvie and try to give them something more then what prison would give them.
--- End quote ---

Che Gookin:
Anything more useful than Danny's dribble on this place?

They are part of AMIkids, formerly named Associated Marine Institutes (AMI) - "separating a troubled past from a bright future" - which is based in Tampa, FL.

Their website:

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In 1969, Judge Frank Orlando, a Juvenile Court Judge in Fort Lauderdale, was frustrated at seeing the same young men come before his court time and again. At the time, his only option was to send them to “reform school,” where the kids would stay for a time then end up right back in his court. He knew that if these boys were to turn their lives around, they would need more than to be simply locked away.

Judge Orlando expressed his frustration in an article in the Miami Herald, which was seen by an old friend from high school, Bob Rosof, who was then director of a non-profit organization in Boca Raton, Florida that conducted research with the Marine Science Department of Florida Atlantic University.

Judge Orlando saw an opportunity to send some of the boys he regularly saw in court to work with Mr. Rosof and his staff where they would be given the opportunity to work, and in turn, be rewarded for their efforts and appropriate behavior. Mr. Rosof and his staff acted as role models for the boys and built relationships to help them see a different future than the one they saw in their past.

With the help of Florida Senator Louis de la Parte and Ollie Keller, the original non-profit transitioned into the first AMIkids program, Florida Ocean Science Institute in Boca Raton, FL, whose focus became changing the lives of troubled kids. Beginning a revolution in juvenile justice programming, AMIkids offered an alternative for youths who may have otherwise been caught in the downward spiral of incarceration. By getting a second chance, a new direction and a guiding hand, the troubled kids were now able to work their way into a world of opportunity.

As a direct result of the efforts of Judge Orlando and Mr. Rosof, AMIkids has helped more than 95,000 misguided kids redirect their lives to develop into responsible, productive citizens. Today, AMIkids offers five different types of programs to troubled youth throughout Florida as well as in Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

AMIkids | 5915 Benjamin Center Drive | Tampa, FL 33634 | Direct: 813.887.3300 | Fax: 813.889.8092

Founding Fathers

Name: Bob Rosof
Title: Former President, Florida Ocean Sciences Institute; Former CEO, AMIkids

AMIkids' two founding fathers, Judge Frank Orlando and Bob Rosof, met in high school and continued as fraternity brothers in college. Serving as a Juvenile Court Judge in Fort Lauderdale in 1969, Judge Orlando was frustrated with the juvenile justice system and called upon Bob to find a possible solution. Bob was managing a marine research program for Florida Atlantic University and Judge Orlando asked Bob if he could send some juvenile offenders to work with his marine biologists to learn responsibility and accountability. Bob agreed and one month later, called Judge Orlando and asked for six more teens.

From this arrangement, the first AMIkids program, Florida Ocean Science Institute, opened in Boca Raton, FL. and Bob served as President. In 1970, he became the first CEO of AMI (now AMIkids).

In addition, Bob developed a program to accept donations of boats from the general public to be used by AMIkids and share a learning opportunity with AMIkids' students. For example, the Unicorn, 140-foot ship that needed to be refurbished, was donated to Florida Ocean Science Institute. The students rebuilt the ship, used it as a training vessel and participated in races to Bermuda and New York. The Unicorn was even featured in the movie, "Roots," and staff acted as extras in the film.

Bob instilled the values of AMI:  providing incentives when making right choices, being held accountable, and working hard then fun – which encourages self confidence and shows kids that a good future is available without crime.  


Name: Judge Frank A. Orlando
Title: Director, Center for the Study of Youth Policy, Nova Southeastern University
In 1969, the year AMIkids was created, Judge Orlando was Commissioner of the Office of Youth Development and Delinquency Prevention, U.S., Department of Health, Education and Welfare and he played a major part in the opening of the first AMIkids program in Boca Raton, FL. and continuing to expand the program. He is considered an expert in juvenile justice issues and lectures extensively on the issues facing staff and students alike.

Judge Orlando currently serves as the Director of the Center for the Study of Youth Policy at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center and he works primarily as a Technical Assistance Provider and Team Leader to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's National Juvenile Detention Alternatives Project. He also serves on the Florida Bar's Permanent Committee on The Legal Needs of Children.

Serving as a Florida Circuit Court judge for 21 years, his primary assignments were in the juvenile and family law divisions where he developed and supervised the court-connected mediation program. For 20 years, Judge Orlando was a member of the Governor's Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. He has served as the Chair of the Florida Delegation to the White House Conference on Families, President of the National Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Chair of the Florida Legislative Juvenile Justice Reform Task Force and Chair of the Florida Supreme Court Mediation Training and Standards Commission.

Judge Orlando holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida. Judge Orlando has been honored with a number of awards, including the American Bar Association Livingston Hall Justice Award, Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency Distinguished Service Award and National Coalition for Juvenile Justice A.L. Carlisle Child Advocacy Award.


Name: Louis A. de la Parte
Title: Former President of the Florida Senate

Louis A. de la Parte (Lou), distinguished Tampa lawyer and former President of the Florida Senate and Member of the Florida House of Representatives was known as an extraordinary public servant and champion of those without a voice.

During his tenure in the legislature, 1962-1974, he had the vision and authored the legislation that created the Department of Health & Rehabilitative Service (HRS), a half-way house for juvenile delinquents, and the Division of Youth Services. He was responsible for the state funding of AMIkids' first program, Florida Ocean Sciences Institute. He was instrumental in expanding the program to additional Florida communities. Mr. de la Parte had many appointments to include member of the Florida Supreme Court Commission Studying Racial and Ethnic Bias, the Governor's Social Service Task Force, Chairman of the Governor's Task Force on Mental Health, and the Governor's Commission for Government by the People, and was actively involved in many other public service projects.

He was revered for the progressive way he viewed government and the law, and he deeply respected the system's power to make a difference in people's lives. After leaving the legislature he founded the firm of de la Parte and Assoc. now de la Parte & Gilbert, which is still in existence.

Lou was born on July 27, 1929 in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida. He graduated from Jesuit High School in Tampa in 1946. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Emory University in 1950, and in 1967 his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Florida. From 1953 until 1956, Lou served in the Air Force, Judge Advocate General's Corps, reaching the rank of captain.


Name: Ollie J. Keller
Title: Former Director of the Division of Youth Services

Ollie dedicated more than 50 years to helping troubled youth, beginning his crusade in community service as a radio broadcaster in Illinois.

Following his passion for assisting young people who were in trouble, he moved into government positions responsible for helping juveniles. Ollie became Chairman of the Illinois Youth Commission, President of the Springfield Board of Education and founder of the Boys Farm, a residential program for boys and alternative to state correction facilities.

He then served as Director of the Florida Division of Youth Services and was appointed as Secretary of the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. As Director of the Division of Youth Services, he supported the vision of working with juvenile offenders in community-based settings rather than locking them up in institutions. Along with Judge Frank Orlando, Bob Rosof and Senator Louis de la Parte, Ollie was one of the founding fathers of AMI (now AMIkids).

After teaching criminal justice at the University of Florida, Ollie was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as the Parole Commissioner for the Southeastern United States. He also served on the Parole Commission's National Appeals Board and as President of the National Association of State Juvenile Delinquency Program Administrators.

After retirement, he continued his work on alternative sentencing for juveniles. Ollie was one of the founders of the Georgia Wilderness Institute, an AMIkids program, and essential in raising funds for to develop the Savannah River Challenge Program in Georgia, another AMIkids program. He also co-authored a book entitled Halfway Houses: Community-Centered Corrections & Treatment. Ollie received many awards and recognition, including the Alive Award as founder of the Georgia Wilderness Institute.

He received a B.A. from Williams College in 1947 and M.A. in sociology from Northern Illinois University in 1965. He from 1943 to 1946 and from 1950 to 1951. During WWII, he served as a U.S. Navy navigator on an LST carrier in the Pacific, and again during the Korean War.


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