Our legacy of cultivating excellent first started in 2011 with the collaborative efforts of Edward Blacksheare, Velma Williams, James Milton Jr. and Robert Guy leading the charge in the halls of Seminole High School. They had a vision to foster a program that elevated the opportunities minorities were exposed to within the school system, as well as, promoting academic success, college readiness and future success. Because of their dedication, vision and drive; Mr. Guy was able to implement this program at various schools throughout Seminole County, six to be exact.
Since then, the Young Men and Women of Excellence programs have made an enormous positive impact within our schools, the community and most importantly the lives of those a part of these prestigious programs. From humble beginnings to remarkable success, these pioneers of excellence helped pave the way for the elite programs we have today, which have served over 500 students and counting.
Young Men of Excellence is a year-long elective course that can be taken all four years in high school. The program is designed to develop and refine young men into great men, with a focus on professionalism, excellence and quality. We maintain high standards and program expectations for our members, as they serve as Ambassadors of Lake Mary High School and the Lake Mary community. We offer our students various opportunities, such as community involvement, exposure to guest speakers, college tours, personal development, academic success, peer mentors, college readiness and so much more.
Joel's delivery style is one of comfort and humility, that is packed with a punch of accountability. His messages of empowerment and motivation provide practical suggestions, as well as, the necessary support to inspire students to take action in the face of adversity.
No matter where you are along life's journey, Joel provides strategic methods that help students discover their purpose, self-identify and overcome obstacles on their path to success. His personal experiences combined with professionalism and passion for people make this program uplifting and unique.
Mr. Joel A. Ortiz | Lake Mary High School
Young Men of Excellence Instructor
Young Men and Women of Excellence is a Seminole County Public Schools program designed to increase the graduation and achievement rates of minority high school students. This program seeks to enhance social, emotional, academic, and physical health outcomes for each student. Young Men and Women of Excellence are currently in six of nine high schools.
At Lake Mary High School we cultivate young men into great men by promoting a way of life, that exemplifies honor, excellence and noble manhood. By teaching, demonstrating, and instilling the virtues of Brotherhood, Leadership, Wisdom, Chivalry, and Strength our students develop a sense of pride and purpose they carry with them throughout high school and beyond.
For he today who sheds his blood with me shall forever be known as my brother. Together as brothers or perish as fools.
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. It's not a position or a title, it is action and example.
Knowledge comes from learning, wisdom comes from living. First through reflection, then imitation and lastly your experience.
A gentleman is someone who does, not what he wants to do, but what he must. Being a gentleman is a matter of choice.
Without the help of the body the mind cannot reach full potential. Therefore one must make the body, to make the mind.
We are currently accepting applications for incoming 9th and 10th graders with a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher who demonstrate a drive to excel in all areas of life, the willingness to lead, as well as, pursue personal development.