Our Annual Luncheon took place on Thursday, November 6th at the Signature Grand. We have witnessed first-hand our student’s grades, relationships, and outlook on life improve during their time at Firewall. This event was an opportunity for our staff to Spread the Fire to others and get more positive people involved in the lives of these children.
Attendees interacted with both familiar and new faces before they heard exactly how much Firewall Centers is impacting the lives of its students. Guest speaker Betsy Roberts, a Western High School Social Worker, described the “family approach” of Firewall, as the staff unconditionally gives back to ensure each student receives the academic and social support they need to succeed in school and in life.
Vikki Colucci of Regent Bank also spoke on Firewall’s behalf. Vikki took part in our first Serve-A-Thon community service event in May alongside of our Firewall students. In her speech, she quoted Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Attendees got to taste this change that happens daily at Firewall when they heard from its graduates and current students. The audience was all smiles as three students from Pompano Beach Middle school shared their thankfulness for Firewall and even their dreams for the future.
Towards the end of the luncheon, attendees fell quiet as they watched the lives of two graduated Firewall students, Kenneth and Kathia, be completely transformed by this program. Kenneth’s mother said in the video, tears forming in her eyes, that “Firewall is a family. A family that got together to help him, but not only to help Kenneth, but all of their students. At Firewall, there is no distinction. Everyone gets treated the same … These people are angels in the path of each one of these kids. ”
Various members of the community also attended and supported Firewall’s Student-to-Leader Luncheon including Broward College, representatives from the United Way of Broward County, Regent Bank, PNC Bank, the Sun-Sentinel Children’s Fund, the Festus and Helen Stacy Foundation, our school partners, as well as a Broward County School Board member, Laurie Rich Levinson, and a group from Leadership Broward’s Class XXXIII.