Paul Wilson, director of the 5000 Role Models (Congresswoman Wilson’s son) and Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti at the school board’s meeting after Mr. Wilson’s address to the board on Sept. 2, 2015.
The nationally recognized 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project extends its reach to now include at-risk minority boys in Duval County Public Schools. Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti joined Duval County School Board Member Dr. Constance Hall (District 5) to announce the initiation of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project beginning this school year in 10 Duval middle and high schools with a goal of securing at least 50 positive adult role models for each school. Young men in grades 6 through 12 will participate in various cultural and educational experiences such as visits to college campuses, etiquette workshops, and job and career building trainings. Students will also serve as ambassadors for the program and the school district throughout the City of Jacksonville.
The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project aims to intervene in the lives of at-risk minority male youth in an effort to provide them with positive role models and experiences that will empower them to make good choices and encourage healthy living, responsibility, respect, and achievement. Expected outcomes include improved academic performance, reduced truancy, fewer referrals and suspensions, and increased pathways to success through mentoring and diverse experiences.
“I am extremely pleased about the growth of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project and excited that the 5000 Role Models will become a part of the curriculum at Duval County Public Schools.
In 1992, when I founded the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, I wanted to give hope, encouragement and the will to succeed to boys and young men of color who were at risk of dropping out of school. A quarter of a century later, the 5000 Role Models has given out more than ten million dollars in scholarships and has been transformative in the lives of thousands of young boys who might not otherwise have had an opportunity to attend college,” said Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson.
The new director of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, Mr. Paul Wilson, will traveled to Jacksonville on Sept. 1, to participate in a press conference and school board meeting announcing the rollout of the project. Duval County Public Schools joins Pinellas County Public Schools, which currently has 20 chapters serving over 500 students in St. Petersburg, Florida, in the program’s expansion.
The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project has been an intricate part of the lives of at-risk youth in our community for nearly a quarter century. The Role Models success in impacting the lives of the myriad of students in 101 mentoring programs across the county is not possible without the un-wavering support of the Miami-Dade County School Board and school district.
“Without their support, I wholeheartedly believe that this expansion would not be possible,” said Congresswoman Wilson.
The in-school dropout prevention/mentoring program for boys ages 9-19, was founded by Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson, a quarter center ago, when the Congresswoman served on The School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The program’s goal is to provide young boys with a carefully chartered path to manhood by pairing them with adult mentors whose legitimate success can inspire them to successes of their own.