by Dr. Frederica S. Wilson, Founder
WE ARE . . .
A dropout prevention intervention program for minority young boys “at-risk” of dropping out of school and/or choosing a life of crime. The program serves 6,792 students in 89 schools, which includes 23 elementary, 33 middle and 33 senior high Miami-Dade County Public School’s students. The expansion program in Pinellas County serves 450 students in 20 middle and senior high schools.
The majority of students enter the program in middle school and continue activities throughout their high school and post-secondary education years. Primarily, the program serves children who are being reared without the benefit of a father or a positive male role model. The waiting list of applicants is staggering.
IT WORKS . . .
Children who are ages 9-19 year olds are referred by school principals, counselors, teachers and/or parents. Over 95% of the students who begin the program and graduate have no further negative contact with violations of student conduct codes or the law. School personnel and parents are amazed at the transformation that takes place. The students and adult mentors wear a distinctive uniform consisting of black pants, a white dress shirt, and a 5000 Role Models of Excellence signature necktie. All items are earned through bench mark accomplishments related to discipline and academics.
A PROMISE OF SUCCESS . . .
When students enter the program, they are guaranteed a chance to attend college or advance through a potpourri of post-secondary opportunities geared toward the next level of education. Eligible students are employed in the private sector throughout high school. Mentors from the program assist students in this process. Funds for scholarships are raised annually at the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Scholarship Breakfast. Thousands of young men have been recipients of this award since its inception in 1993.
FUNDING . . .
Funding for personnel comes from Miami-Dade County Public Schools Dropout Prevention budget. The remainder of the funding is derived from corporations and private sources.
FUTURE OF THE PROGRAM . . .
The goal is to expand the efforts of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project throughout the state of Florida and eventually making it available nationwide. As a state program, its efforts would be riveting as we watch juvenile crime decrease one day at a time.
School Board Administration Building
1450 NE 2nd Avenue Rm 227
Miami, Florida, 33132
Web site link, http://5000rolemodels.dadeschools.net