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5000 Role Models get informed

Event targets young men who are seeking post-high school alternatives

Ashley Montgomery | 4/24/2014, 9 a.m.

Helping young men achieve their dreams after high school is imperative to the entire community. Many have an idea of what they want to be when they “grow-up” but few have the resources. Enter the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, whose focus is to to mentor boys ages nine through 19.

Busloads of high school seniors and juniors arrived at the D.A. Dorsey Educational Center and the Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center for an educational expo.

Nearly 800 students attended the event on April 16 to kickoff the inaugural Career Technical Education Post-Secondary Fair and Open House.

“The event is designed to apprise 11th and 12th grade Role Model students of the post-secondary training/education and many career opportunities that exist as a result of matriculating in the highly-advanced vocational and technical programs available through Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

“Something like this is very important for these young men,” Harvey Clayton, a school site director said. “Not all are going to make it to college, and not all are college material. It’s important to have a plan.”

Dozens of organizations and institutions were on hand to showcase their programs to students, offering helpful information while encouraging them to enroll in classes.

Adrienne Weinstein, a leading educator at the Medical Magnet program at Miami Northwestern Senior High School, said she was excited for the upcoming school year.

“We have one-year programs available that will give these young men a really good start — the turnout today has been really good,” Weinstein said.

There were a variety of programs and career choices offered at the event, ranging from computers to cosmetology.

Ted McCrae, a Cosmetology instructor at Northwestern Senior High, served at an unlikely booth that usually does not appeal to young men.

“It’s all about exposure to different things,” McCrae said. “A lot of them don’t get the exposure, so they don’t know of the possibilities.”

“Not only does this program teaches students about cosmetology but we also give them a foundation in entrepreneurship,” McCrae said.

McCrae has been a mentor with 5000 Role Models for three years now. He says he believes that young men in the organization are capable of achieving impossible dreams with hard work and dedication. “I am very grateful for this opportunity,” said Demetri Kendrick, 16-year-old, Killian Senior High student. “These all seem like such great programs.”

D.A. Dorsey Educational Center has a long-standing, rich and positive tradition in the Liberty City area. Established in 1963, it was intended to be a high school, but the curriculum was changed to meet the needs of the adults in the community with vocational education courses.

Lindsay Hopkins Technical Education Center offers academic programs that prepares one for careers in health sciences, industrial fields, computers, and business.

Both campuses offer skill courses in English for Speakers of Other Languages [ESOL] and General Education Diploma [GED] prep.