MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee announced it will continue to positively impact civic engagement, education, and economic empowerment in South Florida. The players will continue their support of the Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County Public Schools, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and Florida Memorial University. In total, the committee has raised more than $1.1M to support these programs in partnership with the Miami Dolphins Foundation and NFL Foundation.
“The Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee exists to give players an outlet for community service,” said cornerback Byron Jones. “Oftentimes guys want to engage in community service but simply do not where to start or they do it alone. The committee allows us to pull our resources together and come up with a game plan to ultimately maximize our impact.”
The committee will make a $300,000 commitment to bridge education equity and assist with wireless technology for underserved students that attend public schools in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties.
“The opportunity to help bridge the digital & educational divide is something that is a blessing for us to be a part of,” said wide receiver Mack Hollins. “Knowing that the small contribution we are making is making an enormous impact across Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County schools is incredible. It is so important that our children continue to receive every chance to excel and build a better future!”
Broward County Public Schools will use these funds to provide content filtering for new hot spots for student use. Student services have identified at least 1,500 homeless students through the Homeless Education Assistance Resource Team (HEART). The goal is to provide each of the identified students with a hotspot and laptop to use. The donation will ensure that all hotspots are compliant with the Children’s Internet Protections Act (CIPA) by having important content filtering safeguards.
“We are grateful to the Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee for supporting our work to ensure equity in education,” said Broward County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Vickie L. Cartwright. “Through this partnership, our underserved students, particularly those experiencing homelessness, will access appropriate websites that foster safe and supportive online resources.”
Miami-Dade County Public Schools will fund STEAM VEX Robotics curriculum for students in 4th and 5th grade at 34 M-DCPS schools. As part of new initiatives introduced for the 2021-2022 school year, M-DCPS launched VEX-Go STEM Robotics to enhance robotics program offerings for elementary school students, which included VEX-Go robotics kits, teacher training, and access to VEX-Go competitions for students in grades 1-3. This donation will allow M-DCPS to build upon the VEX-Go STEM Robotics program by expanding this initiative for students in grades 4 and 5 at these same schools.
“As Miami-Dade County Public Schools prepares students to be the next generation of inventors, innovators and leaders, we remain committed to providing access to state-of-the-art STEM programs,” said Miami-Dade County Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho. “We thank the Miami Dolphins and its players’ Social Impact Committee for once again partnering with us to ensure children in every zip code in our community can achieve their full potential.”
Palm Beach County Public Schools funds will support the School District of Palm Beach County’s Connecting Kids in the Community through Digital Inclusion program. Services will include equipping families with technical support, providing technology training and navigation of online resources to enhance learning opportunities and academic progress for participating students while increasing familial involvement in education. In addition, the Dolphins donation will help configure 21,000 Wi-Fi Extenders and staff a Digital Literacy Coach / Specialist.
“We have thousands of students in Palm Beach County who have limited access to high speed, quality internet. What the Dolphins are doing by donating and configuring Wi-Fi extenders is helping to level the playing field by helping the District to ensure that all students have equity in access to excellence in education,” said School District of Palm Beach County Board Chair Frank Barbieri. “On behalf of the Palm Beach County School Board I want to thank the organization and the Social Impact Committee, it’s wonderful for us to have this level of support from the Dolphins.”
The committee will also donate $100,000 to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Fines and Fees program, which assists returning citizens who have outstanding fees to complete their sentences and become eligible to vote. The donation will impact hundreds of people with past convictions, with a focus on Miami Gardens and the surrounding communities.
“This donation by the Miami Dolphins, as with its previous donation, will have a tremendous impact on the lives of Returning Citizens in South Florida, and it also demonstrates the Dolphins continued commitment to being a great community partner.” said Desmond Meade, Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
“This is an amazing opportunity to help our community get back on its feet,” said defensive back Jason McCourty. “As formerly incarcerated individuals return to our communities, we want to make sure they regain their right to vote and have the opportunity to feel welcomed by the people that surround them. This is one small step in allowing people a second chance and a pathway to create a new life”
Furthermore, the committee will continue their partnership with the Lennar Foundation to fund Florida Memorial University’s Certificate Program in Construction Trades for the second year. This program, the first of its kind at a Historically Black College in Florida, will play a key role in economic empowerment by providing equitable access for minorities in South Florida through employment in the construction business. Tuition, along with meals and transportation, will be free for all participants in this 12-month certification program. Participants can register for the program at www.fmuniv.edu/trade.
“This partnership is in perfect alignment with FMU’s goal of producing career ready graduates in high demand fields,” said Dr. Jaffus Hardrick, President, Florida Memorial University. “The continued support from the Miami Dolphins and the Lennar Foundation helps provide students from our Certificate Program in Construction Trades with opportunities for quality, higher-salaried jobs as demand in the construction industry continues to grow.”
“After seeing the success of the first class in the program, we’re happy to support this initiative again,” said running back Patrick Laird. “We saw measurable impact where men and women got an opportunity and took advantage of it. They can now provide for themselves, their families and their communities for the rest of their lives.”
“The Lennar Foundation is very pleased with the outcomes of our partnership with the Miami Dolphins Player’s Social Impact Committee for job skills training at Florida Memorial University, said Marshall Ames, Chairman of the Lennar Foundation. “We appreciate the renewal of our partnership and applaud the positive impacts of our joint efforts.”