21st Century Leadership Academy
In 2017, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade & Festivities Committee Inc. began work to reorganize and modernize the organization to establish greater community visibility and better meet society’s formidable challenges and demands for education and community services, especially to children and families. Involving a host of educators, business leaders, and transformational trainers, they are spearheading the organization’s new initiative, the 21st Century Leadership Academy, to direct youth toward positive social change, higher education, and an enduring commitment to meaningful service to
Modeled after a successful 1999 Torch Teen Leadership program the trainers developed for at-risk youth in Opa Locka, FL, the upcoming pilot program will be offered to high juniors during their second semester. These students, who show promise but for economic and social reasons are vulnerable to dropping out or not pursuing college or technical education after graduation, will undergo a rigorous acceptance process. Following a teacher or administrator recommendation, they will be required to pen an essay or provide some creative work that explains why they should be included in the inaugural academy class.
In addition to overcoming physical challenges on a ropes course, and interacting through two intense weekend seminars, the training will focus
on a number of core issues:
• identifying self-worth/value and establishing a sense of respect for self and
• thoughtful and strategic goal-setting for a lifetime of success
• becoming a leader capable of complex execution in a complicated world
• developing skill sets including interpersonal communication, credit
building, financial management, healthy lifestyles, effective habits, etc.
• supporting and assisting others through community service
Education and support will also be provided to participants families and caregivers in order to solidify the training and ensure the greatest chance for success.
As it becomes available, more information will be posted here and distributed in Miami schools regarding the application process, the curriculum, trainers, and associated activities. The organization is currently accepting individual and corporate donations as a funding source for the pilot program.
Formed to mirror Dr. King's dream for all people, we desire to perfect the leadership program so that it might eventually become a required part of both public and private school curricula nationwide.
“Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve.
You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.