One of the many parts that makes Boys Town North Florida's peer culture special is the use of GEMs, which are tokens given out to staff that stand for “Going the Extra Mile." Any staff member or intern can be nominated to receive GEMs; submissions vary anywhere from helping a co-worker complete a form to moving furniture for a family or accompanying a Consultant on a visit. Once per week, the GEM committee gets together to review GEM submissions, rates them with a numerical score and delivers the GEMs to the recipient.
Throughout the year, staff members collect their GEMs in preparation for a GEM auction. During the GEM auction, staff members can use their GEMs like currency to bid on curated, desired items such as gift cards, Boys Town merchandise, kitchen items and more. Since the onset of COVID, Boys Town North Florida hosted Virtual Gem Auctions in 2020 and 2021. This year, due to the improving COVID conditions, Boys Town North Florida hosted their first “back-in-person" GEM auction at ART Town on June 7th.
Staff members entered ART Town, some for the first time in many months, and were greeted with a catered Canopy Road Café breakfast. Staff bid on the many items while they ate breakfast and laughed together at the competitive, jovial discourse that filled the room. Boys Town North Florida appreciated the opportunity to allow staff members to safely gather and be celebrated for their teamwork and hard work.