SPECIAL TO THE
It takes a village to raise a child and for the past five years, Senate Democratic Minority Leader Oscar Braynon II has created an event for the youth to teach the good, the bad, and the ugly of certain choices made in life.
On May 20, the fifth annual “Choice Challenge” will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Florida International University’s Kovens Center (3000 Northeast 151st St., North Miami).
The Choice Challenge, in partnership with the Moss Foundation and NFL player Santana Moss, is a free youth only event aimed to equip middle and high school students with the knowledge and tools to make conscious decisions about their future.
Every year, South Florida’s teens between the ages of 13 to 17 participate in a day filled with educational workshops that focus on careers, life choices, character development, and teen self-consequences of drugs, gangs, and gun violence.
In the previous years, over 300 students attended from various Miami-Dade County public schools like Norland Middle, Highland Oaks Middle, John F. Kennedy Middle, North Miami Middle, North-Dade Middle, Thomas Jefferson Middle, Edison Park K-8 Center, Charles R. Drew Middle, Brownsville Middle, Madison Middle, and Westview Middle.
Braynon created the Choice Challenge to be a free event because he saw the need to educate the youth in South Florida about the impact choices can have on their lives positively and negatively.
He wanted to provide every teen the opportunity to participate and engage in conversations that may not feel as comfortable speaking with a parent or teacher.
“You do better when you know better,” stated Braynon. “The Choice Challenge exemplifies this maxim by aiming to equip our young people with life facts. As we prepare for our fifth year, we hope that each participant leaves the workshop well-informed, with a renewed outlook on life, and the unwavering commitment to make the right choice.’’
Celebs, local leaders
Middle and high school students are encouraged to attend and spend the day with celebrities and community leaders talking honestly about their real-life experiences and the choices that led to their successes and failures.
This year’s 2017 speakers include Chef Teach, owner of the World Famous Mac & Cheese; Pastor Richelle Williams, Jesus Peoples Ministries Church International; Ernishia Randolph, president and CEO of Juanita’s Kitchen; John Gay, CEO and president of Tax Drz; “Lex” Pierre-Louis, founder of LPMG; Stitchez, 103.5 The Beat/iHeart radio personality; K. Foxx, 103.5 The Beat/iHeart radio personality; Antonio Bryant, former NFL football player; Adrianna Smith, former Miami Dolphins and Heat dancer; Tammy Gray, Public Defender’s Office; Arthur “Marty” McNeil, Public Defender’s Office; Walter Byers, City of Miami Police Office; and Rolando Perez, City of Miami Police Office.
Registration is required at ChoiceChallenge2017.Eventbrite.com.