For Immediate Release
July 25, 2013
Contact Information

Bernadette Morris
Sonshine Communications
T: (305) 948-8063

(BPRW) Journey to Africa "" City of Miami Gardens Councilman Opens Doors of Economic Opportunity for Students Traveling Abroad

(BLACK PR WIRE) – City of Miami Gardens, FL – Preparing students to compete and excel in international markets, City of Miami Gardens Councilman Dr. Erhabor Ighodaro will lead a small delegation of students from Miami Gardens to the West African nation of Sierra Leone, July 31 – August 14, 2013. The two-week trip is designed to expose South Florida students to the culture, economy, educational systems and business climate of one of the fastest growing economies in the world: Africa.

“We live in a global village and in this competitive global market, our children must be prepared to compete with their counterparts from China, Germany, etc.,” explains Dr. Ighodaro. “For over a decade, this ‘Rites of Passage’ program has allowed our school district to live up to its motto of ‘giving students the world.’”

Based on academic performance and community involvement, two students were selected as scholarship winners to embark on what could be described as a trip of a lifetime. The transatlantic journey will be the first international trip for student Dawn Alexandra Millings, graduate of Miami Carol City High School, and the first EVER airline experience for Gerre Barnwell of the New World School of the Arts. The teens are slated to visit historic Sierra Leone sites such as Laka Beach, Free-Town and Diamond Mine. The students will also have the opportunity to interact with youth and educators in Sierra Leone.

Working in conjunction with longtime South Florida educator Dr. Robert Ingram, the Miami-Dade County School Board and the Foundation for Democracy in Africa, Dr. Ighodaro spearheaded efforts to create the international journey as an opportunity to connect Miami Gardens youth to the African continent. “According to major economic indicators, 6 of the 10 fastest growing economies are in Africa,” says Dr. Ighodaro. “Considering the historical ties that bind Africa to the Americas, I believe it is an economic imperative that our students prepare for the global marketplace."

Since the inception of the program ten years ago, Councilman Ighodaro has assisted 23 students from the Miami-Dade County Public School system complete similar excursions to Africa. Recognizing the value of travel and exposure for youth, Dr. Ighodaro this summer lead two delegations of academically outstanding students in the Read to Lead program to Florida’s historic St. Augustine. Students who completed reading ten books during a nine-week grading period earned the experience which included a day visit to Orlando’s Islands of Adventure. “There is evidence and research that suggests exposure is a critical element that drives the learning enterprise,” says Dr. Ighodaro. “I have seen firsthand the benefit of this type of exposure in the lives of our children, especially for those who would otherwise not have the opportunity.”

For more information on the Rites of Passage journey to Sierra Leone and to book interviews with Miami Gardens Councilman Dr. Erhabor Ighodaro, contact Julia Yarbough, Events & Media, at