The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project is designed to develop a leadership pipeline for young men utilizing school-based and community mentors and role models through various methods of support including themed weekly meetings, a monthly speaker series, community service projects and college access support. The Detroit Board of Education members voted 7-0 to launch the 5000 Role Models Project to create and develop a pipeline of leadership from within the walls of the District’s schools. This project is a proven mentoring program that prepares young men for success, generated by role models in our schools who are supported by male mentors in the community. On Monday, October 30, 2017, representatives from DPSCD visited Miami, Florida to meet with staff from the 5000 Role Models Project department. The program was established in Miami 25 years ago by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and is currently operating in two additional counties in Florida. This year marks the Silver Anniversary of the project.
National, state and district data indicates the need for strategic support for males of color. While African-American and Hispanic males make up 50% of the students enrolled in the District, data trends indicate they perform lower than their counterparts in each academic indicator. Detroit has the overall challenge of the highest rate of poverty among the nation’s largest cities; the strategic plan to identify male role models is paramount to the success of our students.
The initial implementation of the 5000 Role Models Project will begin with 6th graders and continue through 12th grade. Middle school students will have the option to continue participation in the project if they transition to a participating high school.
The six participating pilot schools will identify 50 students annually and identify a role model to work with students. The 300 students identified will participate in various academic and behavioral supports as well as cultural and educational experiences. Students will serve as ambassadors for the program and the school district throughout the City of Detroit.
Based on formal and informal school data, the following schools have been selected as the 2018-2019 cohort: