Founding staff member Philip Boyer leaves behind a legacy of service as he moves to his home state of Washington after graduating with a Master’s in Social Work.
The Academy is a community with deep roots. As such, milestones and achievements reached are celebrated. Last week the Academy celebrated one of its own – Philip Boyer. Philip is a founding staff member of the Academy and has been an integral part of our team for five years. Long before the Academy was built, he would transport members back and forth to Vincent House Clubhouse in St. Petersburg. Phil has provided excellent instruction in Customer Service, Microsoft Office and even learned a little graphic design. He is a role model to members and staff and has a kind way of bringing out the best in people. He led many evening and weekend social outings and was instrumental in managing our first Transitional Employment site with the Pines of Sarasota.
During the past two years, Phil has been diligently working toward earning his master’s degree in social work at University of South Florida. His determination and dedication to achieving this goal has been supported, encouraged and cheered-on by members and staff alike. Finally, last month, graduation day came – and went – without the usual fanfare. Due to the coronavirus, no university graduations could be held. No family or friends could watch their loved ones proudly walk across the stage to receive their diploma. Phil could only watch online for his name to scroll across his computer screen. The Academy could not let this moment go unnoticed, so we put together a graduation celebration in his honor. It was a bittersweet moment though as Phil has decided to move back to his home state of Washington to be near family after graduation. So, our graduation celebration also became a farewell party. Members and staff, some in person, some virtually through Zoom, participated and shared well wishes and fond memories. Phil made a heartfelt speech about his time with the Academy and how he will miss everyone and participating in the great work that is accomplished here. He is excited to move on to his next journey but will be missed at the Academy. His contributions were instrumental in shaping our culture and leave behind an indelible mark of positivity and inclusion. Best wishes, Phil!