400 at-risk students take Broward County by storm
Participants in the Firewall Centers’ after-school program learn firsthand what it means to serve others at the third annual Serve-A-Thon
Firewall Centers’ students, staff and volunteers.
DAVIE, FL – On April 30, 2016, over 400 Firewall Centers’ students, their mentors, staff, and volunteers engaged in service projects throughout Broward County as a part of the agency’s third annual Serve-A-Thon presented by Regent Bank. This event not only impacts the community, but teaches Firewall students the value of serving others. Firewall Centers is a nonprofit organization based in Davie that runs daily after-school programs in eight Broward public middle and high schools. The program helps kids achieve academic success, build character and teaches them to be servant leaders.
“It was a pleasure for Regent Bank to sponsor the third annual Firewall Serve-A-Thon,” said Giselle Bayona, vice president/commercial loan officer of Regent Bank and a Firewall Centers’ board member. “What a privilege to see over 400 kids and volunteers serving our community. These kids are the future of our country; it is so important to teach them how to serve others in order to become great leaders.”
Students started early in the morning with a breakfast graciously donated by Walmart. Firewall Students from Blanche Ely High, Pompano Beach Middle and Plantation Middle served at Fort Lauderdale’s Snyder Park by mulching trails, painting picnic tables and restoring the butterfly garden.
A group from Bair Middle in Sunrise and Lauderhill six-12 STEM-MED sorted and packaged meals for the hungry at Feeding South Florida in Pembroke Park.
Western High and Indian Ridge Middle School students helped restore the Ann Storck Center in Fort Lauderdale, where nearly 300 children and young adults with physical and mental disabilities live.
Firewall students from Crystal Lake Middle in Pompano Beach fed the homeless and gave them clothes in partnership with Hope South Florida.
“The students were very enthusiastic. You could just see them in the future as outstanding adults by the way they served now as children,” said Pat Colangelo, director of Community Engagement and associate director of Operations for Trinity International University Florida.
Joining the students were volunteers from Lifework Leadership and Regent Bank, who for the third year in a row has been the presenting sponsor for the Serve-A-Thon. Regent Bank team members across Broward and Palm Beach County fundraised in their local offices to support Firewall’s growth. Their support was invaluable to the success of the annual event.
Once the service projects were completed, all of the students and volunteers gathered at Snyder Park for a celebration that included lunch, a dance contest and games.
About Firewall Centers
Firewall was established in 2003 in response to the death of a 13-year-old girl who overdosed on drugs while left unsupervised during after-school hours. Ever since, the agency has been operating daily after-school tutoring and mentoring centers for at-risk students that instill character values and promote academic success, supporting them as they strive toward their greatest potential.
For the 2015/2016 school year, Firewall’s T.H.I.N.K. (Take charge, Have a plan, Involve the right people, Never quit, Keep giving back) Leadership program has seven centers and is serving 400 Broward county students. The program’s overarching objective is to improve performance outcomes among at-risk students as related to their school attendance, behavior, and course performance, thus helping them to ultimately achieve self-sufficiency as they pursue their life goals. You can learn more about Firewall Centers and how you can get involved at www.firewallcenters.org or follow them at www.facebook.com/firewallcenters.