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MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – A special morning at Hard Rock Stadium on Wednesday for dozens of South Florida high school student athletes.

On their day off, several Dolphins players and local law enforcement officers took the time to meet with students from Booker T Washington, Cooper City and Hollywood Hills high schools to talk about leadership, social activism and building inclusive communities through the RISE leadership program founded by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

“It give us a platform as athletes to talk about other than the sport we play we talk about issues going on in our country,” said Dolphins defensive back Michael Thomas.

Throughout the season, students completed the program designed to empower and educate student athletes and their coaches.

“It’s given me a new perspective on things, especially like stereotype threat and how it could affect someone else,” said student Jumari Edwards.

“Who to hang around with and what to do to help people and how to express equity and equality,” added student Isaac Flores.

Those are just a few of the key lessons they have learned with the help of a star team helping them in the process.

“The same way you look up to us, keep that in  mind with everything you do. When you see things that might not necessarily be right, speak up about it and try to do it to make change,” Thomas said.

More than 190 students and 30 coaches participated in this season’s RISE leadership program.

As of now, the program is in three South Florida high schools and in dozens of high schools, colleges and universities across the country.

Marybel Rodriguez


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