Assistant Leisure Services Director
A.A., 2008 | CCC, 2010 | A.S., B.A.S., 2012
A snow globe sits on Jowie Mohammed’s desk in the Leisure Services Department of the City of Greenacres. The custom-made gift from his wife contains his favorite saying: “Success is a journey, not a destination.” It’s the guiding principle that informs his life and work as supervisor of one of the top-rated youth programs in the county.
Mohammed has been with the Greenacres youth programs team for 12 years, and in that time he has helped many life journeys begin. He oversees the nationally accredited program, directing a staff of 19 employees who serve upwards of 250 children, ages 5-17, annually. In addition to the elementary, middle and high school afterschool programs, the team also runs winter, spring and summer camps.
“I’ve been able to see so many kids grow up with us and go off to college—that’s the most rewarding part. We realize our kids are low income kids, so anything that we can help them with, that’s what we’re here for. They consider us like family, and say things like ‘I talk to you more than I talk to my dad.’ You hear that and it just makes you take a step back and reflect on the impact you have.”
Mohammed, 31, emigrated from Trinidad with his family when he was 14. He volunteered for the Greenacres youth programs while in high school and was hired as a recreation aide in 2005 while attending PBSC part time.
Paying out of pocket for college was a burden, so when Mohammed heard about college scholarships for people working in afterschool programs, he applied. With the full scholarship from Prime Time Palm Beach County, Mohammed got his A.S. degree in Human Services with a concentration in Youth Development as well as a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Supervision and Management, which prepared him for his current supervisory position. In 2014, he received Prime Time’s Exceptional Achievement by an Afterschool Director award.
“I was very fortunate to graduate with a bachelor’s and no debt. Not a lot of people can say that. I like school, I like to learn, and to have the opportunity to go full time—it was great.”
Mohammed has many good memories of his time at Palm Beach State. At the top of the list is meeting his wife-to-be, Annette Soria, in a Human Services class. Next are caring professors like Reginald Butler (Math), Jeffrey Fisher (Science), and Lystra Seenath and Lois Pasapane (Human Services), who always encouraged him. He won the Student of the Year award from the Sociology department and was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society.
He also recalls stressful times, like right before his PBSC graduation. It was at that juncture that he discovered the “success is a journey” saying.
“When you’re in college, you’re rushing toward that goal of graduation, thinking ‘when I graduate I’m going to be all set,’ but there’s so much more to life. That’s one thing I say to the kids, ‘slow down, take it one day at a time, and don’t rush it.’”