In The News

Save Our Sons teaches young men the basics to succeed in business world

The seventh annual Save Our Sons Youth Summit, hosted by Alonzo Mourning’s Overtown Youth Center, inspired young men to excel through workshops and activities. AT&T representatives surprised the group with a check for $25,000 to support community programs. From left, Lyle Grandison, president of Respect for Life Educational Services; Stephen Marino, Overtown Youth Center board chairman; Cristal Cole, AT&T Florida-External Affairs; Tina Brown, executive director OYC; Shawn Blanchard, keynote speaker; and Kevin Vericker, city of Miami mayor’s office. Photo provided by Overtown Youth Center


JUNE 28, 2017 5:50 PM

Save Our Sons teaches young men the basics to succeed in business world

Dreary I-95 underpasses could get Miami-style makeovers with art and light

Three different proposals could change the look of underpasses in several Miami neighborhoods. Carl Juste; Edited by Justin Azpiazu Miami Herald


JUNE 24, 2017 7:00 AM

Dreary I-95 underpasses could get Miami-style makeovers with art and light

AT&T Donates $25K to Overtown Youth Center

The gift will support Overtown Youth Center’s Save Our Sons​ initiative, which was created to develop and enhance the lives of young men.

AT&T Donates $25K to Overtown Youth Center

MIAMI, FL — AT&T recently delivered a surprise check for $25,000 to the Overtown Youth Center’s 4th Annual Save Our Sons (SOS) Youth Summit.

“AT&T believes it is critical for students to have access to the tools and support systems they need to graduate high school, and succeed in college and they enter the workforce,” said Cristal Cole, AT&T Florida external affairs. “We are proud to support community programming provided by organizations like the Overtown Youth Center, who help foster a safe environment where children can dream big and access the resources they need to be successful in life.” (Sign up for our free Daily Newsletters and Breaking News Alerts for the Miami Patch.)

The nonprofit will use the AT&T contribution to support its Save Our Sons initiative, which was created to develop and enhance the lives of young men primarily in the Overtown community.

The Overtown program links mentoring and training programs with an ultimate goal of creating lifelong partnerships that transform failing support systems for young men in urban communities.

Co-founded by real-estate developer Martin Z. Marguiles and NBA Hall-of-Famer Alonzo Mourning, OYC is a year-round youth development program providing in-school, after school and summer program services, a parent enrichment program and post-high school support to over 400 students in the Overtown neighborhood and surrounding areas. The program offers a full range of services including educational enrichment, recreational activities, mentoring, literacy initiatives, performing arts, prevention and life skills/training for at-risk youth. For more information, visit

The gift was provided by AT&T Aspire, which is the company’s signature philanthropic initiative to drive innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear. The company has already donated $250 million out of a planned $350 million set aside for such programs between 2008-2017.

Photo from left: Lyle Grandison, president, Respect for Life; Stephen Marino, OYC board chairman; Cristal Cole, AT&T external affairs; Tina Brown, OYC executive director; Shawn Blanchard, SOS Youth Summit keynote speaker; Kevin Vericker, City of Miami mayor’s office. Courtesy AT&T.

PAMM and Overtown Youth Center Create Public Art at Omni Park

Students from the Overtown Afterschool program at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) spent an afternoon at Omni Park, creating “pop-up” public art installations inspired by the works of artist Michael Loveland.

With the help of teaching artists, the students utilized a non-traditional, but very familiar material – plastic yard signage. Typically utilized for political campaigns and advertisements, these young artists created visual messages inspired by public art and spaces. ​​

Omni Park is a seven-acre public, green space that is equipped with a skate fixture, community event space, mobile library, and public art installation highlighting the community members and culture of South Florida. It is also host to live performances, the Boho Market, and other programs. With the help of the CRA, the once blighted and unused land is now a green, accessible playground. The Omni CRA is committed to the preservation and enhancement of property values, stimulating the creation of new job opportunities for residents, and improving the quality of life of those who reside within the redevelopment neighborhoods.




Left to right: Javier Alberto Soto, President of The Miami Foundation; Tina Brown, Executive Director of Overtown Youth Center; Yance Torres, Development Director of Overtown Youth Center and Stephen Marino, Board Chair of Overtown Youth Center at the foundation’s 50th Anniversary Signature Grants Awards Ceremony, held June 2.



Special to South Florida Times

MIAMI – In celebration of The Miami Foundation’s 50th anniversary, the foundation awarded $50,000 grants to many local organizations, including Breakthrough Miami, the Overtown Youth Center, Carrfour Supportive Housing, Grameen America and Voices for Children.

Last Friday, the organizations were recognized at The Miami Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Signature Grants Award Ceremony.

“We are at a pivotal point in our program. This funding allows us to create a greater impact in Miami and allows OYC to provide a continuity of services,” Tina Brown, executive director of the Overtown Youth Center, said in an e-mail.

The organizations plan to use their funding to hire, train and develop their staff, which are predominantly people of color.

“We are planning to provide support to additional students in the Little Haiti area,” Brown added.

Overtown Youth Center provides comprehensive in-school, after school and summer programming that includes mentoring, academic enhancement, tutoring, exposure trips, performing and visual arts and other overall support systems for elementary, middle school and high school students at select schools.

With the signature grant, they plan to expand into Miami Edison Senior High School to continue servicing the middle school students from Jose De Diego enrolled in their program that will matriculate at Edison.

Breakthrough Miami builds a vast network of educational resources to increase graduation rates at both the high school and collegiate levels.

“We serve about 1,200 under resourced students throughout Miami-Dade County, so those funds will definitely go far in providing academic resources for our students,” said Dwanita Fields, a senior site director for Breakthrough Miami.

“We recruit students from under resourced areas throughout Miami-Dade County and provide a summer program, as well as, a school year program for them. There is no cost for anyone in our program,” Fields continued.

According to Breakthrough Miami’s grant application, their funding will also be used to accelerate execution of the organization’s three-year plan which includes hiring new staff to implement and manage a new technology platform as well as upgrading and retooling the capacity of existing team members.

Matthew Beatty, the Director of Communications for The Miami Foundation, said the foundation is committed to supporting all of Miami’s residents.

“As Greater Miami surges forward, it is critical that opportunities be equitably distributed across the community. Our 50th Anniversary ‘Opportunity’ Signature Grants are about supporting the social and economic conditions needed for all residents to thrive,” Beatty said. “These grantees have a history of proven success and are clearly positioned to continue driving solutions to achieve even greater impact for the future.

It’s our privilege to support them.”

At the event, each organization expressed gratitude to The Miami Foundation as well as excitement about continuing to improve Miami through its community work.

“The Miami Foundation is one of our key community partners and we are grateful to Mr. Javier Soto and his leadership team; as well as the collective impact that the Miami Foundation has had in many of our communities,” Brown said.


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