KAPOW! Much Gratitude for Miramar’s Kids and the Power of Work Volunteers

KAPOW! The fun word often seen in cartoon format meaning a “cry out” of satisfaction, awesomeness, or accomplishment is well-suited for the organization bearing its’ same acronym. Kids and the Power of Work (KAPOW) certainly has accomplished a lot in its 28 years! The awesome group of individuals and community partnerships under the direction of Learning for Success/KAPOW President John Casbarro, has grown immensely and successfully in the past couple of decades.

Incorporated in 2002, Learning for Success (LFS) manages a network of more than 1,000 business and community volunteers, teachers, and school administrators who collectively implement the KAPOW program. From 1993-2019, Casbarro expanded the program to reach more than 6,000 students from 80 elementary, middle and high schools annually. To date, LFS has brought the program into 120 schools and has engaged more than 142,000 students in South Florida. KAPOW in South Florida is part of a national network of partnerships developed by the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC). 

“The KAPOW program brings volunteers into schools and students into the workplace to help them connect their school experiences with its application in the workplace and life,” explained Casbarro. “We are proud and honored to partner with the City of Miramar for seventeen years now to bring this program into its schools.”

To appreciate and show their gratitude to their supporters, the annual KAPOW Recognition Dinner and Awards event was held at the Miramar Cultural Center which was once again hosted and co-sponsored by the City. Special Assistant City Manager Shaun Gayle welcomed more than 300 volunteers, and business partners, as well as teachers and administrators from KAPOW partner schools on behalf of the City. 

So many volunteers and City officials were honored at the anticipated ceremony. Thanks to their support, 347 students from both Miramar High and Fairway Elementary participated in the KAPOW program this past school year. This fall, the City will sponsor two additional schools, Everglades High, and Glades Middle.

Miramar High’s KAPOW partnership was developed by Italia Thurston from the Miramar Police Department (MPD) to support the City Manager’s Criminal Justice program at the school. This was the first time KAPOW lessons and volunteers have been utilized for this purpose. Funding support was also provided through the City Manager’s office and MPD’s Law Enforcement Trust Fund through Police Chief Dexter Williams.

“Helping students to learn and develop job skills is an important thing for our City’s volunteers to do,” exclaimed Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam. “It exposes our youth to jobs in the City of Miramar and KAPOW provides the vehicle for us to accomplish this goal.”