MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff delivered a speech Monday at the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Foundation’s 30th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast in Miami Beach.
“We have a responsibility to create a society that is free from injustice,” he told the attendees.
Following the event, he participated in a service project with U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson at the Chapman Partnership.
The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project was founded in 1993 by then Miami-Dade School Board member Wilson.
Its mission is to “intervene in the lives of at-risk boys, in order to provide them with alternatives that will lead them away from a life of crime and violence.”
Wilson says while starting this program came with a struggle, it was definitely worth it.
“This brotherhood is just something I never had growing up,” 5000 Role Model member Andre Jackson said.
It was hard to miss them at Monday morning’s event as they were all dressed in black suits and red ties.
“I’m just honored to be at this historic event,” Jackson said.
More than 500 people gathered at the Convention Center in Miami Beach for the annual event.
“Thirty years later, we are here. The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project has touched over 1 million families across this nation,” Wilson said.
A total of 50 members of the class of 2023 were awarded college scholarships and will have no student debt.
Twelve new mentors were inducted, as well -- a great honor for our future leaders of tomorrow.
“They are mentors in our community, they are our community leaders,” Wilson said.
Making an impact is why Wilson says she started this program.
The goal was to create a mentorship program for minority boys, allowing a path to manhood all while keeping youth out of the prison system.
“After high school, I want to rule the world. There’s so much I want to do. I want to do finance, law school, politics and make the world change,” 5000 Role Model member Oswaldo Chamorro said.
In attendance were many special guests, including the second gentleman of the United States, who some of the young men got a chance to speak with.
Many of these young men who were honored say they plan to take the life skills they have developed and pay it forward.
“Exactly what we are doing here, I try to do there -- working with underclass men and instill knowledge which has been instilled unto me,” Chamorro said.
“It’s my turn, it’s my time to be a part of this and I’m blessed to be here,” Jackson said.
WATCH THE SECOND GENTLEMAN’S FULL SPEECH BELOW: