Forging business, government, aviation, athletic and tourism partnerships, the City of Miami Gardens Parks and Recreation Department has taken the concept of Teen Summer Camp to new levels of learning for youth. From June 10th – August 9th, 2013, more than 100 youth participated in and completed the program which offered applicable business and entrepreneurial skills in a wide range of career fields. The Teen Summer Camp culminated with students having the opportunity to showcase the skills gained during Teen Summer Camp at a studentproduced product and service marketing fair held at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex, 3000 NW 199th St, Miami Gardens, FL 33056.
City of Miami Gardens Parks and Recreation this summer partnered with local and national businesses to provide students new avenues of career development, including exposure to a variety of opportunities within the aviation industry.
Partnering with Operation Safe Flight, and aviation leader Barrington Irving of Experience Aviation, students gained hands-on experience from aviation ground crews, air traffic controllers and had the opportunity to get behind the controls taking small planes into the sky.
Miami Gardens Parks and Recreation District Superintendent Rodney Best describes the 2013 Teen Summer Camp Program as one of the most successful to date. “We are able to offer our youth exposure and opportunities which are not only fun and educational but also give them the groundwork for developing career strategies and focus. It’s a win-win for everyone involved,” explains Best.
On the ground students learned of the sports and entertainment industry during presentations by NFL athletes Thaddeus Lewis and Xavier Rhodes and NFL coach Marquand Manuel; all of whom are from the Miami Gardens area.
Business and marketing skills came into play during presentations by South Florida gourmet food establishment Feverish Pops, and Miami Gardens’ youth were exposed to the hospitality and tourism industry with the assistance of Juanita’s Kitchen. Students completed learning modules in Health & Wellness and life skills with the help of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. Atlanta based Alternative Directions Music Industry Training provided students training in the creative and business process of writing, producing and distributing music. Students developed their own Life in the Gardens music CD; a compilation of songs written and produced by Miami Gardens’ youth, including a track entitled Trayvon Paid It All – a tribute to the late Trayvon Martin.
“These kids had little or no music background are constantly bombarded by hip-hop and other music with disparaging and negative messages,” says Thomas Demerritte of Alternative Directions Music Industry Training. “Students now know how to record a CD that can make a difference in the lives of other kids who hear their songs,” explains Demerritte.
For more information on the Miami Gardens Parks and Recreation programs available for youth, contact (305) 622- 8080.