Last week: Kudos to Diana Nyad! At 64, she became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a cage. Having attempted this feat five times over 35 years, she demonstrated the value of perseverance and true grit and emerged to say, “We should never, ever give up.” A life lesson we can all learn from.
Last week: Chip LaMarca declared September as National Preparedness Month highlighting all citizens can take simple steps to be prepared for natural disasters and the importance of working collaboratively. Interestingly the Community Foundation of Broward, the United Way of Broward County and the Jewish Federation of Broward County have a unique Disaster Relief and Recovery Collaborative — we believe we are better together during times of crisis. Let’s hope we don’t have to put it into action.
Looking ahead: More nonprofit CEOs in Broward are talking about nearing retirement. Whether they will act on it is another story. Conversations seem to swirl around: Did I save enough? What will I do for the next 30 years? Did I groom the talent around me to take my place?” All big questions — no easy answers. As a result, it will be the topic of discussion in many boardrooms in the near future.
Last week: The medical profession predicts the ability to analyze “Big Data” is the new frontier for job growth. Jobs will go to those who make intellectual connections and collaborate with physicists, mathematicians, statisticians, and computer engineers in order to find new understanding to combat disease. This is Common Core on steroids! As Broward schools introduce Common Core beginning this past week, it will strengthen students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Besides making them college and job ready, who knows, it may contribute to the cure for cancer!
ast week: The daily weather report seems to be in the news. August heat reminds us all that it takes a special type of person to survive the heat in South Florida. From football fields, beaches, parks and playgrounds, let’s keep an eye on our youngest and oldest neighbors to make sure we continue to beat the heat.
Looking ahead: Conversations will continue around “transportation.” Projects such as The Wave Streetcar Project will connect us locally, All Aboard Florida’s passenger rail system aims to provide statewide links and the Port Everglades expansion is designed to increase international connections. All require complex planning and the fostering of robust collaborations across sectors — work that requires real leadership. Let’s make sure we have what it takes.
Last week: Defining what is a liveable wage was a conversation across the nation. It reminds us that education should be a critical focus in the community's agenda. When individuals use critical thinking skills to handle increased responsibilities, and are given creativity and latitude in their jobs – salaries increase. We must promote that School is Cool so our youth are college and job ready. When we do that, they will secure the jobs that pay.
Looking ahead: As August descends on us we begin to talk about "back to school" and the college football season. It reminds us that the college experience is not only about education, but also the opportunity to mature, grow and create memories of a life time. It is our duty help young people have those opportunities. And with the Florida-Miami game just weeks away, let me be the first to say, "Go Gators."
Last week: The story that seemed a constant amid all the reports of international unrest was the failing health of Nelson Mandela. The legacy of a man who refused to let hate occupy a space in his mind and led his nation from apartheid to reconciliation is unfathomable. At a time when the Trayvon Martin case brings tension to our communities here at home, let’s hope that we can all honor Mandela’s sacrifices by following his example of rejecting hate.
Last week: Demonstrations in Brazil, Egypt and Turkey were the top news stories last week. Although these demonstrations were marred by violence and destruction, you have to admire the spirit and commitment of those peacefully showing their passion for social change. Here in the States where we regularly change leadership without a rock thrown or a tank in the street, we rarely witness such civic engagement. It would be great to see such peaceful enthusiasm and community spirit result in greater civic engagement and collective resolve around local issues here at home.
Looking ahead: A storm brewing in the Atlantic. It is a warning that as a community we must be ready for disasters. As a county are we ready for the challenges of coordinating the efforts of many government agencies, nonprofit services and the actions of concerned citizens in providing aid? Hopefully we are up to the challenge.
Last Week: The Heat in the NBA finals. Why? Because it is nice to see the community rally around a sense of South Florida pride. It doesn't matter your politics, your age, your gender, etc. It is something everyone can seem to agree on. Let's Go Heat!
Looking Ahead: To be willing to accept changes made by the local School Board. The new administration and School Board members are working hard to increase graduation rates with a quality learning experience. To do that they will have to create efficiencies, make changes and probably ruffle some feathers. As a community we need to give them a chance.