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DCF Secretary George Sheldon Announces New Leadership Academy for Florida’s Foster Youth

April 21st, 2009   No Comments   Foster Care, News & Events

The Myron L. Rolle Foundation, Department of Children and Families and Department of Military Affairs Partner in Week-Long Camp

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – One hundred Florida foster children between the ages of 12 and 14 will have an opportunity to spend a week this summer at the new Myron L. Rolle Wellness and Leadership Academy at Camp Blanding, in Starke, Fla.

Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon announced today at a press conference that the Myron L. Rolle Foundation (Foundation) will host 50 boys and 50 girls from Florida’s Foster Care System at the academy from June 15-19.

The teens will participate in wellness and leadership activities led by Florida State University graduate, Seminole football star and Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle, as well as nationally recognized athletes and volunteer mentors.

The Foundation is partnering with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Florida Department of Military Affairs to hold this first-ever leadership camp for Florida’s foster children. The Foundation was established in 2009 by Florida State University football All-American and Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle and his family to support health, wellness, education and other charitable initiatives throughout the world that benefit children and families in need. There will be no cost to the foster children who attend.

“This is a shining example of how someone in our community has taken the initiative to help improve the lives of our foster children,” Secretary Sheldon said. “We believe kids who go through the academy will emerge with the ability to make healthy life choices, perform well in school, maintain physical wellness and identify with positive role models like Myron Rolle as they transition into adulthood and self-sufficiency.”

Rolle, who graduated from Florida State University in 2008 and has plans to enter the NFL and later to become a doctor, is one of 32 students in the United States to be named a Rhodes Scholar for 2009. The Rhodes scholarship is one of the oldest and most prestigious awards for international study. Rolle is the first starting player of a major college football team to win the scholarship since 1992. He completed his bachelor’s degree at FSU in two and a half years and is enrolled in graduate school at FSU. He will begin studies in Oxford, England, in the fall.

Volunteer mentors from various youth groups such as Florida Youth Shine will assist during the camp. The Academy will include instruction, personal interactions, leadership opportunities and age-appropriate events. The camp is designed to be fun and educational, and to provide a steppingstone to the future.

“This academy is a chance-of-a-lifetime for our kids in foster care,” Secretary Sheldon said. “The opportunity for these teens to learn about leadership in a camp-like setting along with NFL players and other nationally known athletes will be inspirational and motivating for them. Equally as important is that it also allows kids who may never have been to camp before to have a really fun time and meet other kids in foster care.”

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