With only one out of 12 students graduating from high school in Overtown, one of South Florida’s oldest and most impoverished neighborhoods, Alonzo Mourning Charities (AMC), renowned publisher Jerry Powers and OYC Center Coordinators selected 19 students to create a magazine that speaks for them. They were chosen to be part of this project through their interest in art, dining, photography, sales and fashion. Empowered by this creative venture, they will have eight weeks to come up with a name, write and edit copy, style fashion pages, handle the graphic design, style and shoot photos and provide a ready-to-publish magazine, transmitted electronically to a Virginia-based printer.
Powers, who formerly published highly successful Ocean Drive magazine, is committed along with AMC, to coach the students in what Powers hopes will be a self-sustaining, ongoing magazine. Determined to support the children in creating a winning first issue of the magazine, he and Mourning would like to see the kids’ magazine to take off. Their aim: teach the children how successful business really works.
Mourning, a Miami resident, is committed through the Alonzo Mourning Charities, a 501(c)(3) foundation which has already raised more than $7 million to fund programs that promote positive change in low socioeconomic communities including stimulating the development of future youth enrichment centers. The Overtown Youth Center, which was founded by Mourning in 2003, is the first such effort.
At a time of global economic and social turmoil, inner city students are at even greater risk. The magazine project aims to address those children who might otherwise fall prey to the grim statistics of today’s black America, where six out of 10 high school dropouts have been in prison by their mid-30s, and approximately 70% of infants are born to single mothers.
For more information on the Overtown Youth Center, visit http://www.overtownyouth.org/.