Scholarship breakfast honors young men, welcomes keynote speaker Tyler Perry

WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Several personalities and local leaders were in attendance for a South Florida scholarship breakfast, including movie director and actor Tyler Perry.

The 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project’s Scholarship Breakfast was held at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in West Miami-Dade, Monday morning. The breakfast included Perry, the keynote speaker, Florida representatives Frederica Wilson and Illeana Ros-Lehtinen and even senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio.

“This is Dr. Martin Luther King’s [89th] birthday,” said Wilson. “I’m sure he’s smiling down.”

The banquet wall was full of young Wilson Scholarship recipients.

“It shows me how to become a man,” said Wilson Scholarship recipient Faraz Waheed. “It shows me responsibility. It shows me punctuality. It gives me the skills that I need to become a young man.”

Wilson said the breakfast is to remind the young scholars how to act as good men in society.

“Oh, I love them so much,” said Wilson.

Wilson said she created the scholarship fund 25 years ago when she was a principal. The Florida representative gathered as many role models as she could in South Florida, starting with 500 people.

“To have Congresswoman Wilson invite me here, this has been amazing,” keynote speaker Perry said. “I’m just honored. She’s doing so many wonderful things for all these amazing kids who deserve all this excitement and all the best. Twenty-five years of this. It’s amazing.”

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was also present and said he was pleasantly surprised to see how many young men were given scholarships.

“To be here and see this full, overflowing crowd of people — to me, it’s an honor to his legacy, and it’s a challenge for all of us to continue to work hard to persevere that legacy every single day,” said Suarez.

Wilson said she hopes that no matter what is said about these young men, that they will overcome adversity.

“Any racist remarks that’s made about black children or black boys or black cities or black countries or whatever — they know that they’re somebody,” said Wilson.

Haitian-American students were also given a special moment to be honored by Wilson.

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