MIAMI GARDENS (CBS4) — Hundreds of teenagers from Miami-Dade County public schools attended a summit in Miami Gardens aimed at preparing them for the road ahead Friday.

The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, in partnership with The Miami Dolphins, is presenting ‘Finished High School Now What? Continuing the Pursuit of Excellence Teen Summit’ seminar series at Sun Life Stadium.

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Students took part in workshops that prepared them for the future, according to event organizers.

They learned a myriad of professional, academic and life-skills at the summit. Many of the students come from low-income homes and are at high risk of living a life behind bars.

“They teach them how to dress for success. They teach them the dangers of alcohol of drugs. They teach them how to respect women,” said Lloyd Ballard, one of the project’s mentors.

The Miami Dolphins held a workshop entitled ‘The Business of Sports.’

The program works with kids such as Jean Philippe Nau, how has hit the books instead of the streets. He came from Haiti at 7 years old, learned English in 2003, and now thanks to the project, has a full scholarship to the University of Virginia.

“I only live with a single mother, and this program really helped me find that father figure I really needed in my life,” Nau said.

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The Dolphins may sponsor the program, but the Miami Heat have the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project to thank for helping one of their star players, Udonis Haslem, find a life outside of crime.

In its 18th year, the project serves 6,000 young men in reach of a brighter end zone at life.

In addition to the program  G. Eric Knowles, Sr. Director of Stadium Operations at Sun Life Stadium, held a workshop entitled ‘Dress for Success, Interviewing Skills & Careers,’ and Mario Cristobal, Head Football Coach at Florida International University, presented the ‘Leadership Skills, Peer Pressure & Interpersonal Skills’ workshop.

Another workshop offered was  ‘Crime, Drugs & the Dangers of Texting.’


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