- Faith & Family
In recognition of World AIDS Day in which many pause with efforts to remain those who have died from HIV/AIDS and to raise awareness about the deadly disease, the young men of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project participated in a frank conversation at North Miami Senior High School last Thursday.
“I am receiving the information today as being very beneficial to my future,” said Steve Jean-Charles, a 16-year-old North Miami sophomore. ‚ÄúI am young and I have to learn about HIV/AIDS because I am just 16 and I don’t know about sex. The pictures that we saw today were kind of crazy and were a steady reminder of¬† what it looks like to be infected with these different types of diseases.”
The young men received an informative and interactive presentation by keynote speaker Nelson L. Adams, M.D. about¬† HIV/AIDS. His presentation included information about how STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) are transmitted with photographs of how the body is impacted after one contracts an STD.
“So often we have problems within our communities and families because of the lack of information,”Adams said. “Today was an opportunity for us¬†to educate young men who clearly will be the leaders of our community in the not too distant future.”
Role Models from Miami Carol City, North Miami and North Miami Beach High Schools were all in attendance.
“I think that knowing that today is World AIDS day, it is only right that we continue to raise awareness about this disease,‚Äù¬† said Michael Lewis, principal at North Miami. ‚ÄúThe impact that this day is having on the global community is very great. We are taking the opportunity to speak with these young men to keep them informed. I think the conversation we are having is an eye opener for them.”
The Role Model project, which serves to prevent young men from dropping out of school is in 89 schools within the Miami-Dade County Public School System, including 23 elementary, 33 middle and 33 senior high schools. It has more than 6,000 participants and over 6,000 volunteers.
By Randy Grice