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The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project is a dropout prevention, mentoring program committed to closing the minority male achievement (access) gap by guiding minority male students along a carefully charted path through grades K-12 and college or ensuring the attainment of other post-secondary credentials, and increasing their employability in higher wage, high skills jobs within high demand industries.


Participants and Volunteers


Presently, the program serves approximately 8,000 students in 105 schools, including 37 Elementary, 24 Middle, 33 Senior High, and 11 K-8 Centers in Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS). The expansion program in Pinellas County Schools serves more than 500 students in 20 middle and senior high school chapters, and in 2015-2016 Duval County Public Schools opened another 10 chapters. Over 6,000 volunteers dedicate their time and resources to the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project.

Participant Selection


Minority boys, ages 9 -19 year olds who have promise but are at-risk because of negative behaviors and/or socio-economic conditions are referred by school principals, counselors, teachers and/or parents. The program primarily serves children who are being reared without the benefit of a father or a positive male role model, and most students enter the program in middle school and continue activities throughout their high school and post-secondary education years.


The components of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project constitute the program and are designed to teach young boys about healthy living, responsibility, respect, and attaining future goals.


  1. General Conferences

  2. Teen Youth Summits in Cooperation with Local Hospitals

  3. Workshops and Training for Mentors

  4. One-One Mentoring, Group Mentoring and Peer Mentoring

  5. Year-Round Curriculum Teaching Survival Skills

  6. Employment Opportunities for Students

  7. Principal Recognition Ceremonies

  8. WMBM 1490 AM Radio Show

  9. Police and Youth Relations Conferences and Workshops

  10. Guns, Violence and Their Impact on Society and Workshops

  11. Stop Day

  12. Spiritual Aspects Including Ministerial Involvement

  13. Recognition of Mentors and Induction of New Mentors

  14. Annual Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Scholarship Breakfast-Fundraiser

  15. Annual “Finish High School…Now What?” Conference and Rites of Passage Ceremony

  16. Annual Scholarship Presentation in Graduating Seniors Membership in the NAACP

  17. Role Models Partnership-Miami Herald Spotlight Feature of Scholarship Recipients Full Page Color

  18. Money Management, Credit Card and Debt Prevention Workshops and Student Loan Counseling

  19. Farm Share Meal Distribution

  20. Annual Take A Role Model “Apprentice” to Work Day

  21. Field Trips to Correctional Facilities

  22. Field Trips to College Campuses

  23. Teen Court Tours in Conjunction with Public Defender’s Office, State Attorney’s Office; and Parole Board Hearing

  24. Verizon S.T.E.M. Career EXPLORATION Series

  25. Annual Educational and Cultural Leadership Fieldtrip to Washington, D.C.

  26. Field Trips to Cultural and Enrichment Activities Throughout Miami-Dade County

  27. Emphasis on Soft Skills, Appropriate Etiquette and Speech

  28. 5000 Models of Excellence Billboard Project

  29. Emphasis on African-American History and Cultural

  30. Community Service Performed by all Students Participants

  31. Television Show, Entitled: “5000 Role Models TV Show” on Miami Dade College TV

  32. Summer Basketball Jamboree

  33. WPLG Channel 10 “By Kid…For Kids”

  34. Circle of Excellence Ceremony

  35. Ambassadors Program

  36. Publication/Brochures ~ Police and Youth, Consequences of Being Arrested or Convict

  37. Critical Thinking Training and Test Taking Skills

  38. Locally Established Council on the Status of Black Men and Boys

  39. College Dual Enrollment

  40. Fire and Rescue Academic

  41. My Brother’s Keeper


The program also teaches participants to respect law enforcement, the law, women, school officials, and parents. Institutions of higher learning , including Florida Memorial University, University of Miami, Florida International University, Florida A & M University Bethune Cookman University, and Miami Dade College host and provide resources to enhance the boys’ experiences. Students are also exposed to valuable educational, political, and social leadership opportunities that are designed to develop and strengthen their leadership skills.

College and Career Support

When students enter the program, they are guaranteed an opportunity to attend college or attain other post-secondary credentials geared toward ensuring that program participants are positioned for employment in higher wage, high skills jobs within high demand industries. Eligible students are employed in the private sector throughout high school. Mentors from the program assist students in this process.




Funds for scholarships are raised annually at the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Scholarship Breakfast. Thousands of young men have been recipients of scholarships since its inception in 1993. To date, over $10 million in scholarships have been awarded to students successfully completing the program.




The students and adult mentors wear a distinctive uniform consisting of black pants, a white dress shirt, and a 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project signature necktie. Custom-made 5000 Roles Models sneakers are awarded to program participants in recognition of academic excellence. All items are earned through benchmark accomplishments related to discipline and academics.


Mentor Training and Expectations


Mentors receive training on delivering with fidelity the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project program curriculum to program participants during mentoring sessions. The curriculum is based on 27 distinct elements including: higher-education preparation, the criminal justice system, health-care, violence prevention, and anger management. Mentors and students meet at least once per week in-school for two hours during the school year, and at least four times per year for an extracurricular activity on weekends or 3 during the summer.




Teachers have reported a drastic reduction in the number of students who have no further problems with discipline after joining the program. Over 95 percent of the students who begin the program graduate, and have no further violations of student conduct codes or the law. School personnel and parents are amazed at the students’ transformation. The waiting list of applicants is staggering. At least ten schools are currently seeking to initiate 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project programs on their campuses.

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