By Vincent Jones Jr., FAMU Intern
Once again, the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project continues to make strides in the community with their emphasis on dropout prevention and education.
On May 28, 2019 forty-five graduating seniors from across South Florida gathered at Hard Rock Stadium to be congratulated on their academic achievements through an academic signing day.
In attendance were members of the 5000 Role Model male mentors, influential community leaders such as Mayor of Miami Gardens Oliver Gilbert III, keynote speaker and radio personality Tom Joyner, and 5000 Role Models of Excellence founder, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson.
On the 26th anniversary of the illustrious organization, the 5000 Role Models of Excellence were able to award the 45 graduating seniors with full ride all expenses paid education to the college of their choosing as well as an additional $30,000 in scholarship funding from partnering community and corporate organizations.
Since its inception, the 5000 Role Models of Excellence are said to have helped over 25,000 young men across the nation.
The star studded event was hosted in partnership with the Miami Dolphins Football Unites ™ program. Through this partnership, the Dolphin organization continues to demonstrate their commitment to bridge the gap between the youth and other members of the community.
Senior Vice President of the Miami Dolphins Jason Jenkins was poised to expound on the importance of working with the 5000 Role Models of Excellence through their Football Unites program to continue to raise the bar for the youth in the community.
“When it comes to working with organizations that make a impact in the community, the 5000 Role Models of Excellence is one of our first choices simply because we see the impact not only in the school system but in the community as well. We want to be very intentional with the groups that we work with; it is important to level the playing field.”
Keynote Speaker Tom Joyner also had some very inspiring words of wisdom to share about the amazing young men in attendance as well as the wonderful job that the 5000 Role Models of Excellence has done over the past 26 years.
“I am full with pride because I see the future is looking very good not only for these kids but for this organization; I truly believe the next Black president is sitting in this audience. I know that as these students matriculate they will too come back to their communities and give back as well. These children are expected to succeed and because we expect them to, they will succeed.’
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson was elated to share her thoughts on the importance of the event and how proud she is of her young men.
“These young men have been on a carefully trotted path to manhood, tonight we release them into the world and we pray for them but we have faith because we have trained them to deal with the roadblocks that young men their age tend to face. This is not Frederica Wilson’s program, this is God’s program and he opens the door every day and all kinds of blessings come through that door every single solitary day”.
The young men were wearing suits and ties donated by Sean John and additionally, they all received a laptop to assist them with staying on task with their school work once they begin their collegiate journey.
Vincent M. Jones Jr. is a rising sophomore at Florida A&M University majoring in Journalism. Vincent has a 3.7 GPA and enjoys sports and history.