Juanita Miles Hamilton grew up in Marion County and the following values were instilled in her at an early age to: “respect others and never think yourself as less than nor greater than anyone”, “stay grounded and do unto to others as you would have them do unto to you” and to “always stand up for the things that you believe in”. Those values were challenged in the year of 1965 at the young age of fifteen, when she was selected or elected to be one of the first Blacks to integrate North Marion High School in Sparr, Florida. To this day, she respects and continuously lives from the lessons and guidance of her parents and family.
Juanita retired in 2000 from the City of Gainesville. During her tenure as a Supervisor, she volunteered for eighteen years to obtain grant funding from the State of Florida Department of Agriculture as Coordinator and Administrator of the Summer Nutrition Grant Program providing daily lunches and snacks at 35 sites throughout the county for over 1,500 youth daily during the summer months when school was not in session. Additionally, she went over and above the call of duty writing annual grants, securing funding for the Staff and renovations to the Northeast Community Center, presently named the Clarence R. Kelly Center, Woodlawn Park and Fred Cone Park to serve underserved youth.
Shortly after retirement, Juanita began a new venture with the State of Florida designated Duval Heights Front Porch Community, Inc., thereby directing and promoting revitalization efforts to improve the overall quality of life for the residents. She volunteers many hours of service to this community by writing grants, seeking community partners and working with volunteers to implement programs addressing issues.
In 2003, she was the recipient of an award from Governor Jeb Bush for the Housing Rehabilitation Program in Duval Heights in partnership with the City of Gainesville. During that same year, Front Porch was awarded $180,000 from the State of Florida Communities Trust Fund for the Duval Stormwater Project to eliminate neighborhood drainage problems and to provide a place where schools in the area can bring youth to participate in ecological and biological academic studies and activities.
For several years, she served as the Area Chairperson of the Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church managing twenty one churches in the following counties of Alachua, Levy, Putnam and Marion Counties respectively and implementing, executing and promoting mission programs and projects. She was awarded the City of Gainesville Employee Spotlight Award.
She is also a member of The Visionaires, Inc., Alachua County Bethune-Cookman University Alumni, Alachua County Black Caucus and has
served on the following: Guardian Ad Litem, City of Gainesville Enterprise Zone Development Board, SHIP Board, AHAC Committee, Eastside Redevelopment Board, Community Development Block Grant Board, Duval Elementary School Advisory Board, Horizon School Advisory Board, Caring and Sharing Learning Center, Focus on Leadership Academy, Police Advisory Board, Charter Review Committee and as an Officer and Member of Mt. Olive A.M.E. Church.
Juanita is a proud Mother of a Son and a Daughter in love and two Grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys reading, golfing and traveling. Juanita’s favorite quote is by the late Dr. Maya Angelou: “When you know better, you do better.”