Voices from Tampa’s MLK Day Parade and a conversation with Skills Center CEO Celeste Roberts

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Thousands gathered under a clear blue sky on Jan. 16 for Tampa’s MLK Day. We talked to parade goers and participants about what the day and Martin Luther King Jr. mean to them. Their voices opened and closed the WaveMakers show on Jan. 17. 

The day’s WaveMaker was Celeste Roberts, President and CEO of The Skills Center, a non profit organization founded 15 years ago. The Skills Center takes a sports-based approach to improving educational outcomes, economic prospects and life options for at-risk youth. She is spearheading the construction of a new $23 million state-of-the-art youth center in East Tampa that is scheduled to open later this year.

Listen to the conversation here or by searching for WMNF WaveMakers wherever you listen to podcasts.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Zach Carter #95 is among the graduates of The Skills Center. He started participating in programs there in 2009. After attending the University of Florida, he went on to join the NFL.

Carter sported The Skills Center logo on his custom-designed cleats when the NFL debuted the  My Cause My Cleats program on Sunday, Dec. 4 when the Bengals faced the Cincinnati Chiefs.

“The Skills Center is a sports-based youth development program that promotes academic and leadership success,” he said in a press release. “Growing up in Tampa, I was fortunate enough to be a recipient of these courses. I selected to highlight The Skills Center for My Cause My Cleats because it provided me with essential life skills and helped mold me into the athlete I am today.”