Team Jamaica Bickle Philadelphia Announces 2013 International Community Awards

Christmas in August

CaribPR Newswire, Philadelphia, PA, March 25, 2013: Team Jamaica Bickle, Philadelphia has announced that Mrs. Mary Young, Mr. Kevin O. Francis and Mr. Jessie Joseph are to receive the 2013 International Community Service Award at its 19th Annual Fundraising Reception on Friday, April 12, 2013 beginning at 6:30 PM. The reception will be held at the PECO Building which is located at 2301 Market Street in Philadelphia.

Each year, the award is made to individuals living in the City of Philadelphia and surrounding communities who exemplify the spirit of giving, support and service to the Caribbean community in Philadelphia. Previous recipients include Mr. Kenny Gamble, Founder of Universal Companies; Philanthropist Dr. Walter Lomax; Philadelphia Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell; State Representative Dwight Evans, Mr. Stanley Straughter, Chairman of the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs and Edwin Roberts, an Olympic athlete from Trinidad and Tobago.

Mary Young was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica and graduated from Montego Bay High School. She attended Alpha Commercial College in Kingston and subsequently migrated to the United States in 1974. Mrs. Young worked in corporate America while attending Washington Business Institute in New York. She has worked as a sales associate, manager and division manager for Aerus and is now a franchise owner of multiple locations of the same company for 30 years. Mrs. Young has also been a real estate agent for Prudential Fox & Roach in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Mary has been married to husband Roy Young for 34 years and the couple has three children; one son and two daughters. She is also the proud grandmother of four boys.

Community involvement is a part of Mary’s already hectic lifestyle. Organizations dear to her include, but not limited to, Team Jamaica Bickle, Jamaica Trade Council, the Caribbean Festival & Cultural Committee, Prudential Fox & Rosch charities, Team in Training Leukemia & Lymphoma Society charities and the Jamaica America Bar Association North East.

Kevin O. Francis has always enjoyed and loved track and field. Competing for Central High School in track and cross-country he immediately excelled and was able to finish as a High School All American and Public League Champion. His efforts helped him to transition to college athletics at Penn State University where he excelled before a major injury curtailed his training in his sophomore year. Kevin used the time during his recovery to learn training techniques, bio-mechanical analysis and kinesiology techniques. After college he became interested in youth athletics based on the need he saw for the proper training that was not always present for these athletes. Using the knowledge and experience he acquired in college and working with former teammates who were now running and coaching professionally, he began coaching athletics. This year marks his 8th year coaching and has seen him transition to starting his own USATF/AAU track club Ballistic Response Athletics. The athletes he’s coached in this time have gone on to 16 PA State Championship Qualifications, 7 PA State Medalists, 11 USATF/AAU National Qualifiers and 5 National High School All-Americans.

Kevin also currently coaches Jamaican World Junior 4×100 Silver Medalist and NAIA Champion/NCAA Qualifier Gayon Evans. He also serves as the Secretary of Sports for the Coalition for Jamaica.

Jessie Joseph is the CEO of Brown Sugar Bakery which is located in West Philadelphia. Brown Sugar is a cornerstone of Caribbean life in Philadelphia and has been opened for over thirteen years. Mr. Joseph is a native of Trinidad and Tobago and immigrated to the United States in 1975. He further attended school here to pursue business courses which then assisted him in opening a small health food store and he grew the business from there.

Brown Sugar’s menu is based on Trinidad’s cuisine but he does incorporate the cuisine of other Caribbean islands. Jessie has acquired the building where the bakery is located and is looking to keep his loyal customers happy. His advice to new business owners is to focus on hard work, dedication and education.

About Team Jamaica Bickle
Team Jamaica Bickle is a non-profit organization that provides food and hospitality services for the visiting athletes and officials from Jamaica and the Caribbean attending the annual Penn Relays. The group provides over 600 visiting athletes and coaches with food, transportation and accommodation in Philadelphia while the athletes participate in the Penn Relays which takes place this year from April 24 – April 27.

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