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- 2012 - October - 23rd -
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Nonprofit CEO Showcase: Aida Pantaleón Seeraj

Executive Director, Neighbor To Family Inc. — Jacksonville

Mission

Revolutionizing foster care by keeping siblings together while building healthier families and stronger communities. Gordon Johnson, former director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, repeatedly saw children being removed from their homes and parents and then torn from their brothers and sisters when placed in foster homes. He became convinced the separation of siblings reduced the likelihood of reunification with parents, impaired a child’s ability to bond with adoptive parents and increased the need for treatment of emotional and behavioral disorders. For those reasons, he developed a new approach to foster care in 1994, the “Neighbor To Neighbor” program. In 1998, he was invited to bring the program to Daytona Beach, where it was founded as Neighbor To Neighbor. On July 1, 2000, it was officially incorporated as the private, not-for-profit organization Neighbor To Family Inc. Gordon Johnson continues to serve as the founder, president and CEO at the national headquarters.

Serving Jacksonville

The office is at 1851 Executive Center Drive, Suite 114. The headquarters office is 220 S. Ridgewood Avenue, Suite 260, Daytona Beach.

The agency overall serves more than 500 abused and neglected children in five local communities in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina. The Jacksonville branch currently serves 50 children residing in Duval and Nassau counties. 

Biggest challenge

Having enough hours in the day to help everyone. Finding a good balance between home life with my husband, my 4-year-old son and my doggie, Lulu, and meeting the everyday demands of my work life.

Biggest satisfaction

Making people smile. Getting hugs from children.

Hometown

Juncos, Puerto Rico, and Sebring

First experience with community service

Special Olympics Volunteer (1990-97) and Interact member and president (1991-94), conducting numerous community service projects throughout my high school years. Also conducted missionary work, helping orphaned children and leprosy patients in Duran, Ecuador, in 1997.

Your job before Neighbor To Family Inc.

Women and Families’ Program Director at the Sulzbacher Center. I was appointed as executive director for the agency’s sibling foster care program in August in Jacksonville.

Events

On Oct. 4, Neighbor to Family Inc., in partnership with Family Support Services of North Florida Inc., received a $140,000 grant from the Neviaser Charitable Foundation Inc. The grant will assist the organization’s foster children and their parents in obtaining knowledge and skills to transform their lives.

Contact information

neighbortofamily.org

aida.seeraj@neighbortofamily.org

(904) 996-9119, ext. 101

1851 Executive Center Drive, Suite 114

Jacksonville, FL 32207

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