Hope and Healing: Orange Bowl

(WSVN) - When you hear “Orange Bowl,” you think football. But the organization is doing as much off the field as they are on the field. 7’s Craig Stevens has more in tonight’s Hope And Healing.

When you walk into this class of sixth-graders, you can feel good things are about to happen.

These students are part of an after-school leadership class at Bair Middle School in Sunrise.

Today, before any books are opened, there’s an impromptu Mannequin Challenge to break the ice.

Then on to the lesson…

Salomon Sredni, mentor at Orange Bowl Leadership Academy: “So what is kindness? How would you describe kindness?”

Student: “Respect.”

Salomon Sredni: “Respect. I like that.”

Today’s lesson is about filling people’s “buckets” or hearts with kindness.

Salomon Sredni: “Do you think even adults have buckets, or just kids have buckets? Everyone has buckets, right?”

Salomon Sredni is their mentor. He works for a Fortune 500 company during the day, but makes time two afternoons a month to teach the students.

This is just one of the community programs run by the Orange Bowl Committee. The goal is to teach leadership skills to students in lower-income neighborhoods.

Salomon says it’s important, because these kids are our future.

Salomon Sredni: “What we’re doing is giving them tools. We’re giving them methodology. We’re giving them insight to what it is to be a leader.”

Salomon Sredni
Salomon Sredni

The students are chosen to participate in the program because teachers saw their leadership potential.

Students like Julia Benkovic.

Julia Benkovic, Bair Middle School: “You’re there to be helpful to others and let them do their own thing, but guide them.”

Tristan Constant was in Salomon’s first leadership academy class three years ago. He’s now a student mentor.

Tristan Constant: “I love the Orange Bowl. It’s one of the best things that are happening in my life right now.”

Salomon is sure one day these students and many others like them will make our communities better places to live.

Salomon Sredni: “We’re creating the next generation of people that give hope and provide healing.”

If you would like information on how to become a mentor with the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy, go to http://community.orangebowl.org/obla/.

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