Silver Knight

Fraternity recognizes four young men who beat the odds

Recently the Theta Rho Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity awarded scholarships to four outstanding young men. One of them is the grandson of a dear friend of mine, who never lived to see her grandson’s accomplishments. He is Darius Jamal Albury-Williams, a 2012 graduate of Robert Morgan Educational Center.

Darius played football, basketball and badminton at Miami Killian High School, and was chosen as the Youth Day speaker at the Historic St. Agnes Episcopal Church in Overtown, where he grew up. He has tutored middle and elementary school children in math and language arts, has been a volunteer coach to young basketball players and has helped deliver thanksgiving meals to the needy. He is a Silver Knights nominee and a member of the 5,000 Role Models. Darius’ parents are Miranda Y. Albury and Harry B. Williams. The late Maxine Albury was his grandmother and my friend.

The other well-deserving young men who were honored at the scholarship luncheon are David Sostre, David Green, and Famous McKinnon, all from Booker T. Washington High School.

Sostre served as captain of BTW’s basketball team and was a member of various organizations as well as serving as a volunteer for various organizations.

He said an uncle once told him that the only way to have a good chance at being successful is by going to college. "He told me to stay committed and don’t fall off the track. ... College is the key."

Sostre took his uncle’s advice and will enter New York City College of Technology in the fall. His parents are David Sostre and Evelyn Delacruz.

Green is the recipient of the Harvard Book Award; a Gates Millennium Scholar; Coca-cola Scholar finalist and the Award of Excellence. Here is a statement form him:

"I have been reared in an environment that lacked aspirations of being great ... in an environment that only accepts mediocrity and folly. Those who try to be different either get alienated or killed for striving to [rise] above the norm. ... In my neighborhood excellence is not expected nor accepted."

In spite of his surroundings, Green was an Honor Roll student from the ninth through the 12th grade. He will enter the University of Florida in the fall to study business administration and engineering. He is the son of Maria Palmer.

McKinnon has been on the Honor Roll at BTW and has been named Student of the Month. He said, "Growing up as a young black male in the inner city trying to do positive things is a hard task. But I already have a mindset that I am going to pursue a higher education to support me and my family in the future. My personal goal is to become the first in my family to go to college."

He will reach that goal in the fall when he enters Antelope Valley College to study international business. McKinnon is the son of Larie McKinnon and Angelica McKinnon.

A well deserved Friends and Neighbors salute to you all.

Botanical Garden

Getting kind of bored with summer? Don’t know what to do or where to go?

Here’s help. The Miami Beach Botanical Garden has several events that can help to perk up your summer.

On July 26 through 29, the Botanical Garden will present its Miami Performance and Visual Arts Festival, which will offer workshops, lectures by artists, performances and parties for four days at three different sites: Downtown Miami, the Miami Design District and the Botanical Gardens.

The event is presented by Edge-Zones, a non-profit arts organization and the live performances will be presented to the public on a participatory discourse during the four days.

According to a press release, the innovative program seeks to explore the "breaking down of boundaries between visual arts, music, dance and poetry.

The four-day event will start at 9:30 a.m. with a meet-and-greet at the Botanical Garden. The artists’ talks and lunch will follow until noon.

On July 29, performances, installations and discussions at the Botanical Garden will start at 9:20 a.m. followed by a free children’s workshop at 10 a.m. Events will continue throughout the day until 8 p.m., when guests are invited to join the party with DJ Action Pat at 150 NE 40th St.

The Miami Beach Botanical Garden is at 2000 Convention Center Dr. in Miami Beach.

Jazz vocalist

The Community Arts Program at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ will present vocalist Roseanna Vitro in concert at 8 p.m. on Aug. 2 at the church, 3010 DeSoto Blvd.

Vitro is a 2011 Grammy-award nominee who, according to Downbeat Magazine, has the "unrelenting scatability of Ella Fitzgerald, the pristine elegance of Sarah Vaughn, the blues-bucket gutsiness of Aretha Franklin and her distinct, clear voice."

She is a reigning member of the jazz community and has toured the world as an esteemed performer, clinician, recording artist, vocal instructor and ambassador.

In a press release from the program, Vitro is described as "a soulful communicator, showcasing a thirst for swinging hard and possessing an ear for melodic invention. Her strengths include rhythmic acuity and free-spirited spontaneity, often heard in her improvisations, using both scat syllables and lyrics."

Vitro has served as official U.S. Jazz Ambassador, and has presented concerts and workshops around the world.

For the Aug. 2, concert, Vitro will be joined by Mark Soskin on the piano, Sara Caswell on violin, Dean Johnson on bass, and Tim Horner on drums, to present an evening filled with artful music.

Tickets to the concert are $30 -$45 in advance and may be purchased by calling 305-448-742`, ext. 153. Or, you may go to

Tablets for kids

Kudos to the Verizon Foundation and Motorola, for joining forces to provide a $10,000 grant to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s Education Program. Motorola also teamed with Verizon Wireless to donate numerous XYBOARDs and other wireless tablets for the organization’s reading program.

The Summer Reading Program provides a safe, comfortable environment for Miami-Dade’s children to discover classic tales, stay up with new stories and stretch their imaginations.

Alex Rodriguez-Roig, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade said, "The kids are so tech-oriented and gadget-savvy and they love the tablets. We appreciate all the support from Verizon and all of our sponsors who help us in our mission to inspire and enable young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens."

See a real sub

If you’ve never had to opportunity to see a real submarine, here’s your chance. Starting July 28, visitors to the Miami Science Museum will be able to see the S101 submarine, which will be on exhibit through Aug. 12. The exhibit is provided through a partnership with the OceanGate Foundation by special arrangement with U.S. Submarines.

The exhibit will give visitors and campers a chance to get into the science of submarines and the forces they encounter while traveling the world’s oceans.

The S101 submarine was built in 1987, in Plymouth, England, and is one of the earliest diesel-electric subs ever constructed. It has been tested by the Swedish Navy, owned by an environmental group, and was later purchased by a private owner who improved its mechanics and dove it 35 times, exploring Lake Washington and Puget Sound in the state of Washington.

A special presentation for family audiences will be at 2 p.m. on Aug. 4, when OceanGate Foundation will discuss the history of submarines, present information on submarine research taking place in Miami, and take questions from the audience. Those attending will be able to take a closer look at the S101 Submarine on display.

It’s free with paid museum admission. For more information on the submarine exhibit, visit For information on the museum’s 2012 Summer Camp, call the camp registrar at 305-646-4222.

You may also email

‘Lauren’s Kids’

Lauren Book, the founder of "Lauren’s Kids," will be the guest speaker at 10:30 a.m. today at Faith Community Baptist Church for its annual "Multi-cultural Sunday."

"Lauren’s Kids" assists children and families who have been sexually abused. During her lecture, Book, who was a victim of sexual molestation, will give her own courageous testimony of how she survived.

The Rev. Richard P. Dunn II is senior pastor of the church, 10401 NW Eighth Ave.