MIAMI, Fla. – In recognition of Foster Care Awareness Month (May), the Albert Wilson Foundation (AWF), founded by Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson to enrich the lives of children in foster care, hosted a Life Skills & Leadership Day in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County, focused on entrepreneurship, workplace readiness and community resources for workforce support.
The daylong Life Skills & Leadership event included a special Shark Tanklike entrepreneurship contest and breakout sessions related to ﬁnancial literacy, community resources and work programs, career and leadership and discussions from community.
During the May 22 event, youth and their parents heard from a women’s career panel and a men’s leadership panel – comprised of current NFL players Wilson and Mack Hollins, as well as industry professionals, on the importance of service, leadership, and their journey to success on and off the ﬁeld. In addition, select youth worked with entrepreneurs from leAD Sports & Health Tech Partners to gain experience in the startup space, and presented business pitches to a virtual panel in a Shark Tank format.
“Albert Wilson Foundation believes that ‘Every Child Deserves a Chance,’ and so we created an event to empower and provide the youth and families in our community with the necessary tools and skills they need to compete and succeed,” said Wilson. “It’s our hope that providing these resources will serve as a foundation towards strengthening our families, encouraging our youth, and developing greater leaders of today and tomorrow.”
Following the announcement of the winners, all Shark Tank participants received a special surprise for their time and commitment towards business development and entrepreneurship, and will be rewarded with a VIP experience to an upcoming Miami Dolphins home game and will also take a special tour of the leAD Lake Nona Sports & Tech complex, which will include a virtual ﬁreside chat with Horst Bente, grandson of Adi Dassler, founder of Adidas.
AT AN EARLY AGE
A raffle featured a one-on-one NFL workout and training experience with Wilson and a pair of suite tickets to the Mayweather vs. Paul ﬁght at Hard Rock Stadium on June 6, as well as signed memorabilia from Wilson and his Miami Dolphins teammates. All money raised directly beneﬁts foster youth, organizers said.
“It’s so important to cultivate leadership skills and an entrepreneurial mindset from an early age,” said Horst Bente, leAD co-founder. “I’m very thankful for this collaboration and the opportunity to share my grandfather Adi Dassler’s story with the kids. My hope is that him starting from nothing to becoming one of the greatest sports entrepreneurs in history, will inspire them to think big and pursue their dreams.”