Dudley Thomas has been the Community Liaison between the Coconut Grove West community and The START Program since its inception in 2014. Fueled by the desire to see as many native families as possible from his Coconut Grove Village West community, survive the current gentrification that is taking place, Dudley believes that if the youth in his community can formulate moral values, pride of educational accomplishments, gain acceptable social behavior, be self-disciplined and self-confident, then they will be equipped to achieve individual and family success.
Dudley has worked at his current school site in the Miami Dade County Public School System (MDCPS), for the past 27 years and counting as the Lead Security Monitor. During his tenure, Dudley has received training in one of MDCPS' initiatives, Restorative Justice Practices (RJP). RJP aims to provide increased communication and positive connections throughout the school environment, both individually and in groups, thereby providing a structure wherein students' voices are heard, valued, and they will feel like their opinion matters.
Dudley also holds a Coaching Certificate issued by the Florida Department of Education, so consequently, between being a native Coconut Grove resident, his coaching and communication skills, Dudley has trusted relationships with the youth and their families in the Coconut Grove West neighborhood and its this trust that puts them at ease with discussing their needs.
Dudley has been named Paraprofessional/Support Personnel of the year ( ), and has been selected from over 4,000 nominations as a MDCPS’ Values Matter Miami Award Winner.