The power to inspire others to excel is in each of us. As Mother Teresa famously said, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”
At the seventh annual Save Our Sons Youth Summit, young men spent a day acquiring skills in how to excel and better themselves through workshops, activities, an inspirational speaker, and communication with male mentors and role models.
They learned how to tie a necktie while talking about their interests at a workshop called “The Ties that Bond Us.” Every young man also received the gift of a tie.
At “The Game of Life” activity, they discovered how chess and the basic techniques of the game can be applied to everyday life. They studied robotics and rockets at a workshop that emphasized the importance of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills and its influence on 21st century careers.
At “Image of Excellence,” the young men learned the importance of their appearance when stepping out into the world.
The event was hosted by Alonzo Mourning’s Overtown Youth Center and was held June 3 at Jose De Diego Middle School in Miami. During the daylong mentoring initiative, representatives from AT&T surprised attendees by presenting OYC with a check for $25,000 to support its ongoing programming.
Keynote speaker Shawn T. Blanchard began the day by sharing his story and his journey to becoming an acclaimed author, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and mentoring specialist.
He told of the challenges he encountered during his formative years from “being born a crack baby to selling drugs at the age of 11 and losing those he loved the most before adulthood.”
Blanchard talks about his life to groups across the country. He seeks to motivate youth to “help them to see their challenges as opportunities to propel them to something greater.”
He presented everyone with a copy of his book, “How ‘Bout That For A Crack Baby: Keys to Mentorship and Success” and awarded nine students and one mentor with a tailored suit from his private suit line. He also contributed a $500 scholarship to a graduating senior.
The Summit welcomed community leaders including Kevin Vericker, Service Officer from the office of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado; Lyle Grandison, president of Respect for Life Educational Services; and Stephen Marino, Overtown Youth Center’s board chairman.
“The SOS Initiative was designed to address issues that impact the positive trajectory of the lives of young men growing up in urban areas,” Marino said in a release. “Save Our Sons is one of my favorite events because not only is it designed to empower young boys but it provides men an opportunity to inspire and bond with each other.”
Cristal Cole of AT&T Florida-External Affairs said her company “believes it is critical for students to have access to the tools and support systems they need to graduate high school, and succeed in college and they enter the workforce.”
“We are proud to support community programming provided by organizations like the Overtown Youth Center, who help foster a safe environment where children can dream big and access the resources they need to be successful in life.”
To learn more about the SOS Initiative and see photos of the Summit, visit overtownyouth.org/gallery/2017-save-our-sons-youth-summit.
Honors on Miami Beach
Over 900 guests celebrated at the 95th annual gala of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce presented by City National Bank and held June 3 at Loews Miami Beach Hotel.
A “Magical Affair” was co-hosted by Chamber Chairman of Board Wayne Pathman and NBC 6’s Kelly Blanco. Organizers were gala chair Jessica Fuentes Victor of Café Avanti, with co-chairs Jeff Greene of 84 West Studios and Leila Chang of Ideal Lifestyle Concierge, along with other committee members.
Honored for efforts “that have contributed to the success of Miami Beach’s business community” were Art Basel Miami Beach, Corporate Citizen Of The Year Award; Breakthru Beverage Florida, Jan Pfeiffer Distinguished Service Award; Tibor Hollo, founder of Florida East Coast Realty, Leonard “DOC” Baker Lifetime Achievement Award; Howard M. Lorber of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Member Of The Decade Award; Miami Beach Commissioner Joy Malakoff, City National Bank Beach High Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award; and publicist Tara Solomon of TARA Ink, Excellence In Tourism Award.
Attended by community business leaders, the gala receives scholarship funds and support from philanthropists. The live and silent auctions raised thousands of dollars for the Education Foundation.
Donations help fund programming costs for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs at Miami Beach public schools that help “develop the intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills of students from age 3 to 19.”
The Education Foundation also provides scholarships each year to graduating seniors at Miami Beach Senior High School and teachers receive grants ranging from $300 to $1,000.
Learn about Prince Charles
There will be a book review led by Rosann Whitten of “Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life” at 10:30 a.m. July 19 at the Coco Plum Woman’s Club, 1375 Sunset Dr.
Learn more about the life and loves of Prince Charles in this “eye-opening biography,” according to Amazon. The book was published in April and was written by Sally Bedell Smith, the New York Times bestselling author of “Elizabeth the Queen.”
Cost is $20. Proceeds benefit the Patches Nursing Center in Florida City, a Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care facility where children with difficult medical conditions can receive specialized care.
If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at firstname.lastname@example.org.