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CDS student on F.I.R.E.

We are pleased to shine a light on James C. ('22) and the many ways he gives back to our community.

James C. Tampa Metropolitan Youth Orchestra

CDS Junior James C. has been working to make the world a better place for a long time. Beyond being an accomplished violinist and a part of the Patriot football team, James is always looking for ways to give back to the community. Starting at a very young age, James knew it was important to give back to the community in which he lived. This call to help led him to an early start in service. 

While still in elementary school, James started the Tampa Bay Barbershop Reading for Kids project. At 10 years old, James had some books that he had "outgrown and wanted to see them go to good use." He brainstormed with his mother and grandmother on how his old books could bring joy to others and found a man in New York who had created a barbershop reading for kids program, where kids could read while getting a haircut. James took his project a little further and created a chart that the kids could log their reading time and for every 30 minutes of reading, they would get a prize. Watch more about this project.

Most recently James graduated from the F.I.R.E Academy program. The Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc. (CDC of Tampa) is passionate about creating career pathways for high school youth in our community. They have created a virtual program alongside the Tampa Fire Department called Youth Fire Introduction Resources and Education (Youth F.I.R.E.). The program provides career exploration, short term certifications, and mentorship. James was exposed to first responder careers in firefighting, emergency medicine, and law enforcement through instructor-led virtual training and group tasks. Through the program, James earned certifications in First Aid, Fire Safety, CPR, and AED.

James is also a proud part of the organization, Men of Vision Inc. The group focuses on community service, brotherhood, and post-high school plans. Together the group has been helping Feeding Tampa Bay hand out food to families and helping their community. Their latest efforts have focused on the Sulphur Springs area during the pandemic. Watch more.

We are so proud to call James and his family Patriots. 

Thank you to James and his family for contributing to this article. Patriots, we want to know what you are doing! Email your updates to