While serving on the School Board of Miami-Dade County, FL, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson noticed a pattern of young minority boys incarcerated, entering the drug trade, or dropping out of school. Unwilling to sit back and allow society and poverty to destroy the lives of our children, Congresswoman Wilson began to challenge the men of Miami-Dade County to intervene in the lives of “at-risk” youth. Thus, in March 1993, initiated by the School Board of Miami-Dade County, the 500 African American Male Role Models of Excellence was established. Congresswoman Wilson’s vision gained immediate response from the community and continues to serve as a major force in the transition of raising young boys to become men.
In 1994, the name was changed to the 500 Role Models of Excellence Project. Given the increased enrollment of mentors and students it has now been recognized as the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project. Adult Role Model men provide advice, guidance and educational assistance and are trained to salvage “at-risk” youth, who are considered candidates for society’s endangered species list. Young males ages 9-19 are paired with the successful professional adult volunteers.
The mission of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project is to provide minority boys hope, as well as the vision of greatness to emulate in their everyday lives, which has formed a fraternal aura of brotherly love throughout Miami-Dade County.
ONYX Magazine is proud to serve as a media partner for this worthy initiative and congratulates all of our 2016 Wilson Scholars.