The Foundation was named in honor and memory of Jennifer Claire Moore, a 16 year old high school student who lost her life to suicide in 1997. Jennifer’s family wanted to enable all young people to have access to assistance, understanding and positive reinforcement when they needed it. In the hope that something good could develop from the tragic circumstances of her passing, her family founded the Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation in 1998. The Foundation’s first act was establishing two Peer Helper programs at Bayside Academy and Foley High School both of which Jennifer attended. These programs trained teens to identify the signs of depression and suicide in their peers as well as how to support those individuals in getting professional assistance. Since the student and faculty responses were positive about the program, the Foundation proceeded to learn more about how to improve and add the program in other Baldwin County schools.
In 2009, 17 schools in Baldwin County had Peer Helper programs. By 2011, the Peer Helper program nearly doubled to 33 schools due to the enthusiastic support of Superintendent Dr. Alan Lee. Today, there are 46 schools partnered with the Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation to have Peer Helper programs serving a population of approximately 30,000 K-12 students in Baldwin County Public Schools, Bayside Academy, Saint Benedict Catholic School and Alabama Gulf Coast Christian Academy. Suicide prevention is still a critical issue that is addressed by the program; however, many more emotional, societal, and educational issues are now additionally a focus of Peer Helpers in their respective schools.
The Foundation’s greatest success is the dedication of the Peer Program Coordinators and the ingenuity of the Peer Helper students. They have found countless ways to care for, support and positively impact the lives of thousands of Baldwin County youth with a continuum of care that can reach from kindergarten through high school. They consistently develop new ideas to assist the students in their schools. One Peer Helper has gone on to graduate from college and return to Baldwin County as a teacher and Peer Program Coordinator. Over the past few years, the Foundation has increased the quality of the trainings provided to coordinators and Peer Helper students. We have also increased the involvement of the coordinators and students with workgroups and planning committees to ensure the Foundation is meeting the needs of our youth today.
Jennifer’s mother, Frances Holk Moore Jones, is Co-Founder and President of the Foundation. Some of Jennifer’s happiest times are memorialized in the portrait with her horse, Ed. Jennifer’s favorite color was purple, and you will see a little bit of purple in all of the Foundation’s materials. Thousands of students have been helped by the Peer Helper program over the years and in honor of Jennifer, thousands more will be helped in the years to come.
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The Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation
819 North McKenzie Street
P.O. Box 490, Foley, AL 36536