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  • "Spotlight" is an interview series I produce that features my conversations with leaders whose organizations are performing transformative work in their community by providing valuable resources and services.


    The narrative of the interview is presented through a unique “student perspective” that details how youth are impacted by the actions of these community leaders.



    FCC USA | Executive Director

    Winter 2022

  • [00:00] Introduction

    [00:38] Tell me about your personal and professional backgrounds.

    [01:39] What is FCC and its mission?

    [02:39] What are the fundamental principles behind the the mission of FCC?

    [04:15] In what South Florida communities does FCC operate and why?

    [05:47] What do the youth who participate in FCC gain from the experience?

    [07:03] Who are the volunteers that help support the mission of the organization and what do they gain from the experience?

    [08:30] Who are some of the community partners with the organization and why is their support critical for the success of the program?

    [09:36] In what ways do you plan to grow FCC in the future?

    [11:07] Production Credits




    While still feeling the excitement from an incredible FIFA World Cup championship match - congratulation to Lionel Messi and Team Argentina - I had the opportunity to speak with another uber soccer fan, Danielle Dubuc Wightman, the Executive Director of FCC USA (Fútbol Con Corazón).


    FCC USA is a non-profit social enterprise that uses soccer and its convening power to educate boys, girls, and young people in having high personal values and acquiring critical socio-emotional skillsets so that they become agents of change in their communities as well as thrive in achieving their individual aspirations.


    The passionate leadership and tireless advocacy on the part of Dubuc Wightman are helping FCC USA positively transform our South Florida communities and its youth through the love of soccer.


    To learn more about FCC USA and support its mission, visit the link below:



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    The Children's Movement of Florida | Board Chairman and Founder

    Summer 2022

  • [00:00] Introduction

    [00:26] Why did you decide to pursue a career in journalism and what have been some of your greatest accomplishments during your time in this field?

    [03:03] What was the reason for your interest in early childhood development and why did it prompt you to change careers?

    [05:44] What is The Children’s Movement of Florida and its mission?

    [07:01] What prompted you to write your book “A Dedicated Life” and what do you hope people learn from reading it?

    [10:23] What advice would you give to youth about the decisions they will face when determining their path in life?

    [14:56] What is it that you hope people say about you and your decades of commitment and service on behalf of children in Florida?

    [16:28] Production Credits




    David Lawrence, Jr. is an iconic figure to the residents of Florida because of his decades of tireless dedication and service spent advocating on behalf of the children living in the state.


    Lawrence, who attended the University of Florida and was named “Outstanding Journalism Graduate”, retired in 1999 as the publisher of The Miami Herald and transitioned from his 35 years spent in the field of journalism to working in the area of early childhood development and readiness.


    In 2009, Lawrence founded The Children’s Movement of Florida, an organization aimed at making children the state’s top priority for investment by advocating for high-quality early learning opportunities, access to children’s health care, and parent support programs.


    Lawrence’s long history of working for Florida children includes having served on the Governor’s Children and Youth Cabinet and twice chairing the Florida Partnership for School Readiness. In 2002, he was a key figure in passing a statewide constitutional amendment to provide pre-K for all 4-year-olds.


    This loving husband to Roberta for 58+ years and devoted father to 5 children and 7 grandchildren has received 13 honorary doctorates including one from his alma mater, the University of Florida, as well as he was honored with Knight-Ridder’s top award, the John S. Knight Gold Medal.


    His national honors include the Ida B. Wells Award “for exemplary leadership in providing minorities employment opportunities” and the National Association of Minority Media Executives award for “lifetime achievement in diversity.”


    Inducted into the Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2010, Lawrence’s writing awards include the First Amendment Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Inter-American Press Association Commentary Award. He also chaired the National Task Force on Minorities in the Newspaper Business and has served terms as president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and president of the Inter-American Press Association.


    In 2018, Lawrence - who reads an average of 2 books per week - published his memoir, “A Dedicated Life: Journalism, Justice and a Chance for Every Child”. This book chronicles the lessons he has learned during his decades-long career in journalism - starting at the St. Petersburg Times to his time as an editor at the Washington Post to his career-capping leadership as the publisher of The Miami Herald - and details the how-to in founding a movement that has positively changed the lives of Florida children and brightened the future for all residents living in the state.


    To learn more about The Children’s Movement of Florida and to support its mission, visit the link below:



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    Breakthrough Miami

    Summer 2022 

  • [00:00] Introduction

    [00:27] What is Breakthrough Miami and how does it achieve its mission?

    [01:40] What type of impact does Breakthrough Miami have on the communities it serves?

    [03:05] How many students participate in Breakthrough Miami each school year?

    [05:34] What type of activities do Breakthrough Miami scholars participate in throughout the school year?

    [06:49] Are there any other enrichment opportunities for the Breakthrough Miami scholars?

    [08:38] What type of impact does participating in Breakthrough Miami have on the scholars?

    [11:23] What should those interested in applying to become Breakthrough Miami scholars do?

    [12:42] Production Credits




    My goal with this series is to shine a light on these amazing leaders and their talented team members as well as celebrate the transformational work of their organizations - all from a unique “student perspective” that speaks to how youth are positively impacted by their actions.


    There is no one I wanted more as my inaugural interviewee for the "Spotlight" series than Lori-Ann Cox, Chief Executive Officer at Breakthrough Miami an organization whose “students-teaching-students” model creates a rigorous, vibrant learning community, where highly motivated, traditionally underrepresented 5th-12th grade students are supported to achieve post-secondary success and emerging leaders are inspired to become the next generation of educators and advocates.


    Lori-Ann and Breakthrough Miami hold a special place in my heart because I am fortunate and blessed to be a Breakthrough Miami scholar and have their support and guidance since my time as a member of the Breakthrough Miami Village starting in 5th grade.


    To learn more about Breakthrough Miami and to support its mission, visit the link below:



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