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Overtown gets a new learning center for youth

caines | 4/26/2012, 5 a.m.

[gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="title"] On Friday, March 30th, URGENT, Inc., a 17-year-old community-based agency dedicated to empowering young minds to transform their communities celebrated the opening of their new Center for Education and Empowerment with a community open house in Overtown. One of the Center's classrooms was dedicated to Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall. This is an immense honor, she said. The students who enter here to study and learn will be a fantastic testimony to the work I started many years ago. They are blessed and should count themselves chosen. In addition, the event showcased students attending URGENTs Youth Empowerment After School Program housed at the Center. They recited monologues, played African drums and danced to African rhythms. Dr. Henry Lewis, III, president of Florida Memorial University was also in attendance. I applaud URGENT, Inc., on the dedication of its new facility, but most of all, its outstanding after school program, he said. It offers significant skills building training, confidence exercises and both critical thinking and verbal presentations and is providing a tremendous forum for the training of tomorrows young leaders. The Beacon, which houses the Center for Education and Empowerment on the ground floor is an affordable housing development home to 90 families. The Center was sponsored by Carlisle Development. Marvin Wilmoth, Carlisles regional director said, We are very proud of the partnership we have with URGENT and are happy to be have funded the development of the Center for Empowerment and Education. "The Overtown community is getting the best of both worlds at the new Carlisle Development a safe, fun new space for youth and improved housing options," said Saliha Nelson, vice president of URGENT, Inc.