100 Black Men, Broward Schools, and Nova Southeastern University unveil Mentoring Management System
Broward School Board Superintendent Robert Runcie outlines mentoring management system at recent 100 Black Men of Fort Lauderdale Community Empowerment Project.
(Photo by Norman’s Photoland)
By Charles Moseley
The 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale, Broward County Public Schools, and Nova Southeastern University have collaborated on an ambitious endeavor which will now allow every child attending public school with an opportunity to be mentored.
The historical announcement marked the first time that a mentoring tracking system will incorporate all mentoring programs affiliated with the Broward County Public School System. It came on the heels of the 24th Annual 100 Black Men of America’s National Conference, which was held June 12-15, 2014, at the Westin Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood Beach.
The Mentoring Management System will bring mentoring programs under one umbrella through the Broward Public Schools System and serve as a clearing house for information to equip educators, parents, and students along with mentors, with the tools to help students maximize their educational opportunities.
Several community leaders who play a major role in education here in Broward County have endorsed the project including; Broward Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, District 5 School Board Member Dr. Rosalind Osgood, and Preston Jones, Dean of the Wayne Huizenga School of Business at Nova Southeastern University.
The mentoring tracking system was unveiled during a workshop entitled,” Mentoring Management System: Enabling Every Student to have a Men-tor.” The workshop presentation took place at the 100 Black Men of America’s recent Community Empowerment Project (CEP), which was held at Dillard High School on June 14.
Broward Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie personally acknowledged the role that mentoring had played in his life during the workshop presentation, recalling teachers and coaches who assisted him throughout his education. Runcie came to the United States from Jamaica along with his family at the age of six. He was the first in his family to graduate high school. He went on to at-tend an Ivy League institution, graduating from Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass.
“We have a great partnership with the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale. It’s an organization that we’re partnering with involving the Mentoring Management System to be able to coordinate all our activities ultimately improving student achievement, addressing a lot of issues around student achievement gaps and help Black male students continue in getting better and to have success. I think that everyone in our community needs to be a mentor. We can all have an impact on a child and it’s really about spending the time in the community. As they say, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ and that’s what we’re trying to promote here today.”
Under her tenure Dillard High School Principal Cassandra Robinson guided the school to achieve an A School rating. She expressed how significant it was to have Dillard be chosen to stage the 100 CEP.
“We are so excited. It was actually mutual. They selected us and we selected them because we wanted to do this. We just wanted to be a part of this major event to help bring this to the Dillard community, the surrounding communities, to help make a difference in the lives of those we serve every day.”
Dennis Wright, president of the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale, spearheaded this initiative providing the driving force to bring the Broward County Public School Sys-tem and Nova Southeastern University on board to help facilitate the process. This will allow the respective parties to pool their resources in a comprehensive effort designed to maximize mentoring opportunities for students countywide.
Wright pin-pointed several key components of the Mentoring Management System during his presentation out-lining the following:
* To assist the District’s ability to meet the mentoring needs of students by identifying community based mentoring programs
* To assist community –based mentoring programs in marketing their services by listing them on the MMS website and facilitating the process for parents to select an appropriate program for their children.
* To better align our mentoring programs to meet the needs of our children
* To ensure that all mentoring programs meet best practice criteria for recruitment, training and security back-ground checks of mentors and that mentor programming is aligned with best practices.
Wright also said that Nova Southeastern University’s Huizenga School of Business would interface with the Broward Public School System utilizing the skills and expertise of NSU students, as part of the project.
“Nova Southeastern has some of best and brightest students in the United States. Those students are going to be loaned over to this program to help us analyze the data to give us meaningful information for us and meaningful information for them, so that we can make the mentoring program work and be effective, so that students benefit from it. That is the purpose of the partnership between Nova Southeastern University, the Broward County Public School System, and the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale, “Wright added.
District 5 School Board Member Dr. Rosalind Osgood also addressed the Mentoring Management System Workshop, pledging her full support behind the effort.
“This Mentoring Management System will provide a phenomenal data base to allow us to track our mentoring and measure our mentoring. This system and the work that the 100 Black Men is doing are allowing us to engage the community on a whole other level. I am a grassroots community oriented person and a member number of various groups. This system will allow us to coordinate our efforts, bring us together as community based organizations, and engage the community, whether it’s the church group or volunteers at the schools tutoring our kids in reading, whether its Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority or Delta Sigma Theta, it will allow all the various groups to come together through this Mentoring Management System.”
Local businessman Anthony Wright attended the mentoring workshop on behalf of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Zeta Chi Chapter. The fraternity has a mentoring program called the Lamplighters.
“I thought the concept was very interesting. It can be a great tool and a great resource that all of us involved in mentoring not only as individuals but as well as community based organizations can have that single resource that we can go to.”
Tiandra Johnson has observed firsthand the impact that mentoring can have on young boys. She has two teenage sons involved with the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s Leadership Academy Mentoring Program.
“My two sons Caleb and Aaron attend the 100 Black Men Leadership Academy Mentorship Program. I can’t say how happy we are as a family for the Leadership Academy for providing such positive role models and opportunities for my children.”
Another facet of the 100 Black Men Community Empowerment Project (CEP) which was titled, “My Brother’s Keeper: Mentoring the 100 Way Across A Lifetime.” The 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale played host to this event which included a day long activities for the entire family including Free Health Screenings , Youth Talent Showcase, Hands on Banking for Youth Workshop, Give-Away’s, and a live radio remote complements of WEDR/99 JAMZ.
Dr. Chico Arenas, Broward Health Community Health Division, was one of a number of those on hand representing Broward Health at the CEP. He helped coordinate the Health & Wellness component of the CEP.
“Our role in the community is to make sure that we have all our communities in Broward County healthy and safe. One of our missions of the Community Health Division is to insure that we are some place near you today to provide all the information as well as follow-up to get you into care as soon as possible.”
Some of the sponsors for the CEP included 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention &Visitors Bureau, Broward Health, Children Services Council(CSC), WEDR/WHQT Radio Stations, The United States Army, Wells Fargo, Walmart, and Holsen, Inc.
Al Dotson Chairman Emeritus of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. joined a contingent of national representatives who came out to support the local CEP initiative.
“The focus of this year’s national conference was, “Education in an Era of Change.” We tried to make sure that all of our chapters understood the importance of their role in making sure that all the people in their community received education from a high performance school. The 100 Black Men is really focused on mentoring from its inception. Now we realize that we need to take that mentoring focus and begin to expand into the educational system. We have chapters with schools. We have chapters that are advocating in the school system to make sure that dollars are spent in the right place so our kids receive a quality education.”