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While serving on the School Board of Miami-Dade County, FL, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson noticed a pattern of young minority boys either being incarcerated, entering the drug trade, or dropping out of school. Not willing to sit back and allow society and poverty to destroy the lives of our children, Wilson began to challenge the men of Miami-Dade County to intervene in the lives of “at-risk” youth. Thus, in March 1993, initiated by the School Board of Miami-Dade County, the 500 African American Male Role Models of Excellence was born. Wilson’s vision gained immediate response from the community and continues to serve as a major force in the transition of raising young boys to become men.

In its first year, the 500 African American Male Role Models of Excellence began to receive acclaim on the national scene being featured on “The Les Brown Show.” This exposure attracted many prominent Americans to become involved with the program.

American Flags
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United States President
Joe Biden
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United States President Barack Obama
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United States President
Bill Clinton
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United States President
George W. Bush
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United States President
Jimmy Carter
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United States President Gerald Ford
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United States Vice President Kamala Harris
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United States Vice President Al Gore
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First Lady
Michelle Obama
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United States Senator
Marco Rubio
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United States Senator
Bob Graham
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United States Senator
Bill Nelson
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United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
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First Lady and
Former Secretary of State
Hilary Clinton
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United States Army Four Star General and Former Secretary of State
Colin Powell
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Florida Governor
Charlie Crist
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Florida Governor
Jeb Bush
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Florida Lt. Governor
Buddy McKay

Celebrity supporters who have served as guest speakers at our fundraiser, the

Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast:

Other celebrity supporters include: Musicians Eric Benet; Lou Rawls; Christopher “Play” Martin; Astronaut: Charles Bolden; Leonard Pitts; Nathan McCall; James McBride; Dr. Alvin Poussaint; Sports Stars: Lestar Jean – Houston Texans; Udonis Haslem; Alonzo Mourning; Shaquille O’Neal; Billy Thompson; Irvin Thomas; Oronde Gadsden; Jim Brown; Champion Golfer Tiger Woods; and Civil Rights Icon: Rev Al Sharpton;  Rev. Jessie Jackson; and Author: Tavis Smiley

In 1994, the name was changed to the 500 Role Models of Excellence Project. Given the increased enrollment of mentors and students it is now recognized as the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project. Adult Role Model men are trained to salvage “at-risk” youth, who are considered candidates for society’s endangered species list. Young males ages 9-19 are paired with successful professional adult volunteers, who provide advice, guidance and educational assistance.



The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project continues to skyrocket as it has received numerous awards and accolades:

  • 5000 Role Models TV Show on MDC TV - Suncoast Regional Emmy Awards Nomination (2020)

  • Recognized by President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative as a flagship program (2014) 

  • The Links, Incorporated Southern Area Services to Youth Award (2013) 

  • National Medical Association’s Scroll of Merit Award (2008) 

  • A Program That Works (2007) 

  • Florida’s First Union Kid’s Count Award (1998)

  •  Florida’s Promise to Youth Award (1998) 

  • M-DCPS Board Magna National Award (1998) 

  • HBO Worldwide Commercial (1997) 

  • President’s Summit for America’s Future Teaching Example for the Nation (1997) 

  • National Conference of Black Mayors Recognition 

  • The Bold and Blood Award Pennsylvania Legislature (1995) 

  • Emmy Award National Black Journalist (1995)

Congresswoman Wilson and the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project have also appeared on CBS Evening News, CBS This Morning, The Jerry Springer’s Crime Prevention Show, and in a (HBO) Documentary.


Presently, the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project services over one hundred schools in Miami-Dade County from elementary to high school. More than 30 components constitute the program as it teaches young boys about healthy living, responsibility, respect, and how to attain their future goals. The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project's Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast provides thousands of Role Model boys with scholarship funds to further their education.


The mission of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project is to give minority boys hope, as well as the vision of greatness to emulate in their everyday lives. The program has formed a fraternal aura of brotherly love throughout Miami-Dade County, WHICH WILL SOON SPREAD ACROSS THE NATION.

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