Firewall Centers Mentor At-risk Students

serve-a-thon“Our nation has a dropout epidemic. About 1.3 million students drop out every year. That’s 7,000 a day! At Firewall, we challenge the statistics and prove that with the right academic help and involvement, these at-risk students can not only survive, but thrive,” according to

Firewall Centers operates daily after-school tutoring and mentoring programs for at-risk students that instill and promote holistic success—academic, professional, social, family, and self. This past year, Firewall offered six centers serving almost 250 Broward County students, and next year the non-profit organization looks to open up even more centers. In furthering Firewall’s mission to combat the demoting statistics, a recent endeavor was pursued.

Service that transforms

On Saturday, May 3, South Florida students showcased a phenomenal effort of spirit and determination to make a difference in their community. Firewall Centers, an after-school tutoring and mentoring program, hosted its first annual Serve-A-Thon as a practical way for students to learn the value of servant leadership and give back to their neighborhoods.

The Serve-A-Thon consisted of some 250 students, Firewall mentors, headline sponsor Regent Bank volunteers and other community leaders, who all partnered together in investing over 760 community service hours and raising over $50,000 to expand services to at-risk youth.

The Serve-A-Thoners were seen all across Broward County as they served at the Davie Fire Station, planted trees at the Davie Police Station, landscaped public spaces, painted at the Davie Rodeo Grounds, cleaned up and beautified Pompano Beach Middle School by mulching and planting trees and flowers, and served food to the homeless in downtown Ft. Lauderdale.

True leaders

Executive Director Andy Fernandez expressed that “it was powerful to see students that come from poverty and difficult circumstances not only enthusiastically give of themselves, but also raise money to support Firewall. This event truly taught them what servant leadership is all about.”

Students like Astrel from Pompano Beach Middle School echoed the philosophy stating that “serving made me feel like a true leader.”

Many sponsors came together to help make Firewall’s Serve-A-Thon an incredible success including: Regent Bank, the Town of Davie, Pompano Beach Middle School, Whole Foods Coral Springs and Plantation, McDonald’s on Hiatus Road, Enova Transportation Network and Hope South Florida.

Making something beautiful

The Serve-A-Thon was truly a cooperation of the South Florida community at large. It was not just a service to the community, but it was something even better—it was a service of the community.

Indian Ridge Middle School student Nate, who planted trees and bushes at the Davie Town Hall, says that his favorite part about serving “was the feeling I got after having a part in making something beautiful. I take for granted all of the hard work that goes into all the things around me.”

You can learn more about Firewall Centers at or follow them at To watch a trailer for the recent Serve-A-Thon visit

Finley Walker, a student at Liberty University, can be reached at [email protected]

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One Response to “Firewall Centers Mentor At-risk Students”

  1. Songura Cole

    My name is Songura Cole and besides being a federal agent, and a christian, I am the owner of the Champion Factory in Margate, Florida. At the Champion Factory we teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Wrestling, Boxing, and Yoga. I am a 3 x World Champion, 3 x Pan Am Champion, 3 x Abu Dhabi Pro Silver Medalist, and countless other titles. I grew up in a rough area of the Bronx, NY and one of the things that saved me from ending up dead or in jail was my introduction to wrestling and boxing by the Police Athletic League. As a resident of Coral Springs I would love to partner with you to create a program that introduces at risk kids to the arts, and who knows maybe we can create the next future World Champion who might have gone another route had we not intercepted them first. I have the same type of program at one of my affiliate schools in New York and the classes are packed! Kids who were once on the corner are now competing and winning not only on mats, in rings but in life. Their grades are up and part of the program is we make our kids sign a contract that they will have no negative police contact and their grades must be at an acceptable level or else they are not allow to train. If this is something that may interest you please don’t hesitate to reach out and we can discuss the details. I thank you in advance for your time and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

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