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Saturday Morning Shout Out to the Miami Central High School Alumni Association; They don't give lip service!

This morning I’m giving a shout out to the alumni association of Miami Central High School in Miami, Florida. Why do they deserve such recognition? Well, let me tell you a little about the school from my perspective and experience. Yes, it’s my alma mater.

When I started at Miami Central as a freshman, Blacks had only recently moved into the neighborhood immediately surrounding the school. Most of the Blacks that attended were bussed in from Opa-Locka, a nearby county municipality.

I was so happy when Kim moved to the neighborhood. She was the only other girl my age in the neighborhood. I’d met Kim a couple of years earlier in junior high school, we fast became friends.

The ethnic and socio-economic demographics of the community were changing and changing rapidly. As a kid, such issues were of no concern. I related the change based on indicators that were relevant and important to me:

When I started Miami Central as a freshman, there were two Black varsity cheerleaders, one Black junior varsity (JV) cheerleader and one Black majorette. By my senior year, there was one white majorette, two white varsity cheerleaders and one white JV cheerleader --- talk about white flight.

In spite of the rapid demographic change, my years at Central were rich and fun-filled; my friends could have been called The Rainbow Coalition. Miami Central prepared me well for life. I remain friends with several of my classmates after all these years.

Unfortunately, Miami Central has digressed when it comes to student achievement on standardized tests. The FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) has been the root of much angst in recent years as it determines whether a student is promoted to the next grade and even if they graduate. The FCAT also determines a school’s grade.

Miami Central has been graded “F”. This blog post is not about the test, but it is about a group of committed individuals, the Miami Central High School Alumni Association, who coalesced to do something to help the current Central students.

My classmate, William “DC” Clark, is the president of the organization. Under his leadership and vision, alumni have bonded, volunteered and presented several activities benefiting Miami Central. This group doesn’t just talk about it; they are doing positive things for students and the community.

Here are photos from our latest project which was a laptop computer for Class of 2007 college-bound graduates.