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Youth charity fails to deliver on promise

Collins Conner and Bridget Hall Grumet of The St. Petersburg Times investigated the Florida Youth Conservation Corps, which receives a state no-bid contract to help maintain highway rights of way in exchange for providing jobs and scholarships to its young employees. "FYCC said 46 trainees got scholarships from 1999 to 2003, but none came out of FYCC's pocket. Instead - unbeknownst to state leaders who supported the program - FYCC asked Americorps to provide them. Americorps is a national work-study program funded by federal tax dollars." Although the FYCC at first said it would provide access to its spending, it later closed its books to the paper, despite the fact that all of its funding comes from government sources. The paper also found that the FYCC "sent its top staff - including St. Petersburg City Council member Jay Lasita - on all-expenses-paid trips to the Dominican Republic where FYCC sponsors a baseball team."

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