Leadership Broward and Big Brothers Big Sisters Launch “Greatest of All Time Speakers” Series

Big Brother and Big Sister mentors participated with the Littles as part of GOAT presentation.

Members of Leadership Broward’s Class XXXIX collaborated with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward to launch the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) speaker series.  The GOAT series, presented by Publix Supermarkets Charities, is designed to educate, enlighten and engage the youth served by Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Approximately 100 Little Brothers and Little Sisters and their Big mentors participated in the launch.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue presentation

“We’re very grateful for the Leadership Broward Class XXXIX team who are volunteering their time to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward as part of their class Community Project,” said Malena Mendez-Dorn, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward.

“They did a fantastic job managing the virtual launch and securing three impressive local ‘GOATs, from Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue.  The kids loved the presentations, were completely engaged with the speakers.”

GOAT presenters from Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue included Fire Captain Lesly St. Fleur, Deputy Chief Chantal Botting and Fire Captain Gabriel Zahara.

The speakers included Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Chantal Botting, a member of the Leadership Broward Community Project team.  Botting said she was inspired to become a firefighter because she was told, “Girls cannot be firefighters” when she was young.  She now has worked with Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue for 25 years and oversees Fire Operations and 380-plus employees.

“Don’t ever give up on what you want,” said Botting to the Big Brothers Big Sisters young people. “Keep dreaming your dreams and reaching for the stars.  I want you all to know that you all have potential.”

Fire Captain Lesly St. Fleur

Fort Lauderdale Fire Captain Lesly St. Fleur also participated as a GOAT speaker.  He was inspired to become a firefighter after attending career days and fire station tours as a child.  He said he used to get his hair cut across from the station and dreamed about being a fireman.

“I’m now working at the fire station I dreamed about,” he said to the kids.  “Remember, hard work works.  Set your goals and do not give up.”

The third inspiring GOAT speaker was Fire Captain Gabriel Zahora, a 19-year veteran at Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, who started his career as a lifeguard, after moving to Florida from Argentina in 2001.

Fire Captain Gabriel Zahara

“I first had to learn English,” he said. “Once I mastered basic English, I kept going.  I set a goal and accomplished it, and then moved on to the next goal. When you make it, it’ll give you motivation.  And then you keep going and going. Follow your dreams and your passion.”

“GOAT is intended to inspire, empower and motivate the young people we serve,” added Mendez-Dorn.  “ We hope the stories these fabulous GOATs shared with our Bigs and Littles made an impact, one  they will carry well into their future as they realize their potential.”

About Leadership Broward

Deputy Chief Chantal Botting

Leadership Broward is Broward County’s premier leadership development training organization with a 39-year history of helping emerging and established leaders expand their leadership skills, enhance their knowledge of local and state issues and leverage their individual passions to initiate positive changes in the Broward County community.  For more information, visit www.LeadershipBroward.org or call 954-767-8866.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County is dedicated to creating and supporting one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.  Its larger vision is for all youth to achieve their full potential.  For more information, visit www.bbbsbroward.org or call (954) 584-9990.

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