On December 9, 2022, St. Thomas University College of Law’s The Honorable Peter R. Palermo Mentorship Program (Palermo Program) held its annual Fall Kickoff Event with approximately 35 students from the Law Magnet Program at Miami Carol City Sr. High School (MCCSHS) overseen by Asiah Wolfolk-Manning, Esq.
The Palermo Program is a community partnership launched in 2013 between St. Thomas Law and MCCSHS, where St. Thomas Law students work with MCCSHS’s Law Magnet students to teach topics ranging from constitutional law to U.S. Government and history.
Dean John Makdisi welcomed the students, highlighting the importance of this partnership for students of both institutions. Professor Gary Kravitz, Director of the Legal Writing Program at St. Thomas Law, reminded the audience that the inspiration for the program was The Honorable Peter R. Palermo’s belief that the leaders of tomorrow in any profession must know about the United States Constitution, civics, and the law.
For the Fall Kickoff Event this year, the high school law magnet students participated in a debate over First Amendment rights, showing knowledge, passion, and great oral skills.
Mr. Jabari A. Caldwell, Esq., a St. Thomas University College of Law graduate and former President of the Palermo Mentorship Program (2021-2022), was the keynote speaker. Mr. Cadwell shared with the students his path and the events that took it to his promising present, working at the Miami Public Defender’s Office for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida. “When I look at this audience, I see the professionals that are going to shape our community,” he said, emphasizing that through faith and determination, any challenge could be overcome.
2023 will mark the tenth-year anniversary of The Honorable Peter R. Palermo Mentorship Program at St. Thomas University College of Law.