BCPS in the News

United Way of Broward and BCPS Team Up For Above The Influence March & Rally

Friday, May 16, 2014
Above the Influence event expected to draw thousands;
Celebrates students making the right choices

On Saturday, May 17, 2014, thousands of students from across Broward County will come together for the 2nd annual Above the Influence March and Rally, a yearly event to empower youth in our community.  A joint effort created by United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse and Broward County Public Schools (BCPS), the Above the Influence March and Rally is designed to celebrate students making the right decisions – to resist peer pressure, and avoid violence and drugs. So far, more than 2,000 participants have registered. In addition to the lead agencies for the event, collaborating partners include Broward Sheriff’s Foundation, Hanley Center, Florida Department of Health in Broward County, Sun-Sentinel and ICenter Community Foundation. Organizers of the event are hoping to draw 3,000 to 5,000 children, ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade, to the event. The students will march 1.2 miles from Apollo Middle School, located at 6800 Arthur Street in Hollywood, FL to McArthur High School at 6501 Hollywood Boulevard.

The rally will begin at 9 a.m. with a welcoming address by Michaelle Pope, Executive Director for BCPS Student Support Initiatives. The march to McArthur High will begin at 9:30 a.m.  At McArthur High, students and their families will enjoy performances by step team dancers, cheerleaders, youth poets, marching bands and other local talent.  Mikael Wagner, Media Policy Analyst & Communications Manager at the Office of National Drug Control Policy (a component of the Executive Office of the President), will also address the crowd.

“We are so excited to be teaming up again with BCPS and other youth-serving community agencies to create this fantastic event which empowers our students and celebrates the right choices that they are making every day,” said Kathleen Cannon, President & CEO of United Way of Broward County. “We need to continue 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.  The Above the Influence March and 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 Broward Schools 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 strive to remain ‘above the influence’ and positively impact the lives of others.”

For more information on Above the Influence, please visit www.ati2014.org. For questions, please contact Sam Monroe at smonroe@unitedwaybroward.org or (954) 453-3747.

Pictured: Thousands attended the first Above the Influence March and Rally 2013.


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 229 schools and education centers and 94 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population. Students are from 204 different countries and speak 130 different languages. For more information about BCPS, visit (browardschools.com), follow us on Twitter (@Browardschools) and like us on Facebook @ (facebook.com/browardschools).

About United Way of Broward County
United Way of Broward County is a volunteer driven, community-based, non-profit organization servicing Broward County for 75 years. United Way of Broward County 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 the United Way of Broward Commission on Substance Abuse
Celebrating its 25th year in the community, United Way of Broward Commission on Substance Abuse (UWBCCSA) 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.  Like UWBCCSA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/uwbccsa.