MLEC's SHAPE Club sheds light on human trafficking and more

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 0 Comments

MLEC's SHAPE Club sheds light on human trafficking and more


Miami Lakes Educational Center’s (MLEC) Students Helping Achieve Philanthropic Excellence (SHAPE) club is a group of students who do their best to empower their community. Since its incorporation in South Florida schools in 2002, the club’s mission is to empower high school students to achieve personal and professional success by providing philanthropic, leadership, career and civic opportunities. The SHAPE program works in tandem with the Mark J. Gordon Foundation. 

In their own schools, SHAPE recruits are in charge of completing a philanthropic mission for the year. While teaming up with other school clubs that have the same mission in mind, classmates work together to help their surrounding community. The Mark Gordon Foundation awards the club with a $500 grant so that students are able to achieve their goals for the year. 

SHAPE club members have researched six organizations and are in the process of soliciting grants from them. About 115 students participate in the club, which is divided into four committees: Fundraising, community service, non-profit research and grant reception. 

This year, SHAPE focused on bringing attention to human trafficking. Students created visual display boards with information about their movement and the conflict at hand. They settled in the school’s courtyard, and were available for any questions their peers may have on the subject. 

On January 25, the SHAPE club attended a field trip to participate in Florida National University’s Human Trafficking Walk. As part of their efforts, students walked one mile to get the word out. In addition to their march, guest speakers were invited including Homeland Security officers and survivors of human trafficking.

Along with human trafficking, SHAPE also focuses on the homeless problem in South Florida. They even held a living art exhibit to showcase the hopelessness and loneliness the displaced feel. Students collected cereal boxes to symbolically represent the homeless community’s  desire to find food and shelter. 

But helping the community doesn’t end outside of MLEC’s walls. When notified about a student in need, the SHAPE club and other organizations jumped in to help. Students collected food donations and packaged them in decorated boxes, which were then given to 30 MLEC students down on their luck. 

The SHAPE organization at MLEC has accomplished three community service projects, raised a total of $3,000, solicited four local in-house grants and were awarded over $1,500, and club members have volunteered for a total of 3,000 hours. 

Barbara Brooks, mathematics teacher and SHAPE club sponsor said, “I'm really proud of this club and our activities.”

To read more about the SHAPE club and their initiatives, visit



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