United Way of Broward County

Broward County Public Schools and United Way of Broward County Team Up for Inspiring March and Rally to Empower Youth

United Way of Broward County
May 14, 2013


Above the Influence event expected to draw thousands;

celebrates students making the right choices



It’s time to cheer today’s youth and tomorrow’s future! 

On Saturday, May 18, thousands of students throughout Broward County will come together for a one-of-a-kind youth rally.  Called “Above the Influence,” the event is a joint effort created by United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse and the Broward County Public Schools (BCPS).  It is designed to celebrate students making the right decisions – to resist peer pressure, eschew violence and avoid drugs.  Organizers of “Above the Influence” are hoping to draw 3,000 to 5,000 children from more than 40 schools, ranging in age from kindergarten to 12th grade.  A rousing march from the Kathleen C. Wright (KC Wright) Administration Building to Huizenga Plaza will be followed by a rally at the plaza, with inspiring speeches and dynamic performances.

“We are thrilled to work with BCPS and other youth-serving community agencies to create this magnificent testament to the wonderful choices children make today,” said Kathleen Cannon, President and CEO of United Way of Broward County.  “It’s time to draw attention to the many, many students in our community who have joined charitable and civic organizations, focused on their education and have a bright future.  By honoring these wonderful kids, we hope to inspire others to emulate them.”

Above the Influence is a national movement to encourage children to be themselves and not allow negative influences to affect them.  Saturday’s rally takes the concept even further, urging children to persevere in the face of obstacles and to celebrate the wonderful opportunities that abound.

“Every day our students demonstrate their greatness in a variety of ways,” said Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “The Above the Influence march and rally is a great way for us to connect as a community with a show of support for our students and their families, as they ‘remain above the influence’ and influence the lives of others.”

The rally begins at 9 a.m. with welcoming addresses at the KC Wright Building, 600 SE Third Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.  The march to Huizenga Plaza will follow at 9:30 am.  Once at Huizenga Plaza, there will be step team dancers, marching bands, numerous performers, lunch for everyone and presentations.  Dozens of community members will have tables of information.

In addition to Superintendent Runcie and Kathleen Cannon, many other dignitaries are expected to join in the celebration including Sheriff Scott Israel, Mayor Jack Seiler, and members of the Broward County School Board.

For more information, contact Pat Castillo, pcastillo@unitedwaybroward.org or call 954.760.7007.  To register for the Above the Influence Rally, log on at https://www.unitedwaybroward.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=events.details&content_id=43

                                                                        #     #     #

About United Way of Broward County

United Way of Broward County is a volunteer driven, community-based, non-profit organization servicing Broward County for more than 75 years. United Way of Broward County’s mission is to focus and unite the entire community to create significant lasting change in the impact areas of Education, Income and Health, the building blocks for a better life, which positively impacts people’s lives. United Way of Broward County is the catalyst for change and convener of partnerships that unite the hearts, minds, and resources within the Broward community. For more information, visit www.unitedwaybroward.org.


About Broward County Public Schools

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest public school system in the United States, the second largest in the state of Florida and the largest fully accredited K-12 and adult school district in the nation.  BCPS has over 260,000 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 232 schools and education centers and 83 charter schools. For more information about BCPS, visit (www.browardschools.com). Follow BCPS on Twitter (@Browardschools). Like us on Facebook at (www.facebook.com/browardschools). Learn about "What's Happening" in BCPS at (www.browardschools.com/happenings).


About the United Way of Broward Commission on Substance Abuse

Celebrating its 25th year in the community, UWBCCSA (www.unitedwaybroward.org) is a broad-based substance use/abuse coalition dedicated to empowering its diverse community to live healthy and drug-free. Its primary role is to serve as a coalition-building organization that brokers partnerships between federal, state and local agencies to foster, develop and enhance integrated counter-drug efforts throughout Broward County and to search for innovative and effective ways to address the issue of substance use/abuse.

Press Releases