While serving on the Miami-Dade County School Board over 22 years ago, Congresswoman Dr. Frederica S. Wilson noticed a pattern of young minority young men being incarcerated, entering the drug trade, or dropping out of school.
Congresswoman 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 Miami-Dade County School Board, 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 into manhood.
In 1994 the name was converted to the 500 Role Models of Excellence Project. Due to 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 mentor youth. Young men of color are paired with successful professional adult volunteers, who provide advice, guidance and educational assistance.