November 2012 Newsletter

What an unbelievable crowd we had for our annual Student-to-Leader Luncheon! There was literally standing room ONLY as Firewall’s friends, its students, and staff gathered at the Signature Grand on Thursday, November 8th. The program featured powerful stories of transformation from students and staff as well as an inspiring testimony from AT&T Area Manager, John Merlino.

Firewall Mentor, Ariel Cabrera, spoke about how his job as a positive role model and tutor at Firewall has helped him to discover that he wants to move towards school counseling and how it is even preparing him to be a better father in the future.

Another highlight of the afternoon was hearing from our four interns. Last year, Firewall began an internship program in which high school students from the Davie T.H.I.N.K. Leadership High School Center go to the Middle School Center to assist the younger students with their homework and to supervise the recreational activities. At our luncheon, these young leaders spoke about how Firewall has changed their lives not only academically, but in developing the right values and life perspective. It is truly impacting to hear that most of them are gearing their career choices towards touching the lives of others in the community as they desire to go into the fields of psychology and teaching.
AT&T Area Director John Merlino expressed to the crowd that the reason why Firewall received the $100,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation is because of our ability to show results and life change. AT&T’s focus is on increasing graduation rates, and Firewall was chosen as 1 out of 47 organizations nationwide whose mission and measurable results align with this focus.

Servant Leader Stories

Davie High School Center: Servant Leader of the school’s year’s first quarter, Sara, an 11th grader, is a part of Firewall’s internship program. Her words:

“Firewall has completely changed my perspective on life. They have showed me that life is more than just what you wear and who you hang out with. It’s about who you are as a person.”


Pompano Beach Middle School Center: First quarter Servant Leader Ryan, a 7th grade Firewall student, says this about Firewall:

“To begin with, Firewall has helped me a lot. Firewall has helped me reach my goals of getting A’s when I have never been able to do it before. Firewall has helped me be a better person by helping me so that I can help others and they can pass it on so that they will be great and achieve goals with a lot of hard work and a lot of practice. They have taught me that no matter what comes my way, I can do it and be a great achiever and a person with high expectations. At Firewall, I have learned that I need to be a servant leader at home, at school and with my siblings.”