#SpotlightTuesday: Nova Southeastern University - Jason Taylor Foundation

Every Tuesday, the Jason Taylor Foundation dedicates the day to spotlighting one of our partners, volunteers, or celebrity friends that have supported our tireless efforts toward building a brighter future for the youth of the South Florida community.

This week the JTF would like to shine some light on Nova Southeastern University for its dedication and support.

Jason Taylor is no stranger to Nova Southeastern University. During his illustrious career with the Miami Dolphins, Jason spent 13 years on NSU’s campus at the team’s Davie Training Facility, so it came as no surprise that the university began to support the Jason Taylor Foundation shortly after the football legend established the non-profit organization in 2004. In October 2005, Jason was invited to serve as a guest speaker for the school’s Life 101…Personally Speaking series, a program that brings leaders from business, entertainment, politics and athletics to the NSU campus to inspire the students and school community through their life accomplishments and lessons learned.

Following Taylor’s Life 101 appearance, the NSU community began to support the Foundation in numerous ways which included student fundraisers, facility use and program and event support. Additionally, NSU student-athletes often serve as celebrity shoppers at Jason’s annual “Cool Gear for the School Year” back to school shopping program.

One of the long-standing areas of support came with assistance from Dr. Elizabeth Swan, Nova’s Director of Athletic Training Education. For years, under Dr. Swan’s direction, NSU’s student athletic trainers have volunteered at JTF programs and events, including JT’s Ping-Pong Smash, the Ping-Pong Smash Kids Clinic, the Jason Taylor Youth Football Camp and Camp Katina, helping to treat minor injuries if needed. To this day, NSU student trainers can be seen at these signature events assisting children and adults alike.

Nearly two years ago, Sharon Sullivan, the Executive Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations at Nova Southeastern University, approached the Jason Taylor Foundation about formalizing the unique partnership that had grown organically over the years. Sullivan was supportive of the JTF’s work and particularly was impressed with the Foundation’s newest program, the Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network.

Once Ms. Sullivan learned of the Foundation’s desire to utilize this program to empower and unite South Florida’s youth and community with an 11-day poetry festival, she became its champion within NSU’s administration. As a result of Sharon’s belief in the power of bluapple Poetry, Nova Southeastern University took on the role of co-presenting partner for the inaugural Louder Than A Bomb Florida, and truly was a catalyst for bringing the “Super Bowl of Poetry” to South Florida.

Throughout the festival, NSU’s campus served as host to a myriad of LTABFLA events, including its Town Hall conversation, Semi-Finals, College Slam, Urban Art Show, Indy Finals and the main event, the Team Finals. NSU faculty and staff assisted with the festival’s production, served as panelists and bout judges, and Sullivan herself was one of five judges for the Team Finals. Additionally, each summer, the JTF now hosts “The Lab” a youth poetry and writing workshop, weekly on NSU’s campus.

Recently, Jason met with Dr. George L. Hanbury II, President and CEO of Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Hanbury generously reaffirmed the University’s commitment to a long-standing relationship with the Jason Taylor Foundation through LTABFLA and other programs.

The Jason Taylor Foundation is proud to work with such an amazing university and would like to thank Nova Southeastern University for its continued partnership.