JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER, INC.
Samella Hudson-Brewton, B.S.W., M.A.
The John F. Kennedy Center, Inc. (JFK) was incorporated as a private nonprofit social service agency on June 6, 1968. The agency was formed to address the health, education, social, and vocational needs of the lower income residents of a specific targeted disadvantaged geographic area in the City of Erie, Pennsylvania.
In 1968, 100 clients were served through the Emergency Food and Medical Supplies (EFMS) voucher program from an old storefront. In 1974, the present multi-purpose facility was built. In 2002, a half-million dollar capital campaign brought much needed renovations to the building. Today, JFK is serving 600 clients a year through its senior and youth program. Senior center clients are attracted from all areas of Erie City. The children are primarily residents of the 1.78 square mile area surrounding the agency.
Funding comes from a variety of public and private sources, both state and local. JFK is a member of the United Way of Erie County.
Samella Hudson-Brewton has always been an advocate for those in need, people without a voice who would not know how to access health and social services without help. Samella strongly believes - no matter how impossible things may seem, that with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Samella has always been a people person. Her heart was her guide to her career choice. That choice led her to Edinboro University where she received an undergraduate degree in social work with a minor in psychology and a focus in gerontology. Samella returned to Edinboro when she saw a need for intervention services in the community she served, earning a graduate degree in rehabilitation counseling. Samella has worked in the social service field for almost 20 years, starting at the John F. Kennedy Center as a social worker for the Community Youth Activity Program, working with youth and their families. Later, she become director of the social services department, working with a staff of three other social workers. Later, Samella was promoted to deputy director to assist the executive director with internal agency operations. Ultimately, Samella became executive director of the agency after the untimely death of Bobby Harrison, the agency's founding executive director.
It’s amazing what we can do when we come together.