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As President & CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Evelio C. Torres works to help
children reach their full potential every day by providing school readiness services to over 50,000 young
T E X T BY SA N DY L I N D S E Y
T rue inspiration usually begins at home. “When I was a
young child, even with limited resources, my mother always
managed to contribute to non-profits who served a special
purpose close to her heart,” says Evelio C. Torres, President & CEO
of the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe. “From her,
I learned that you always get more than you give when you help
others and work to make a difference in the community.” Today,
he’s grateful for the opportunity to lead an organization that’s
helping to make such a vast difference in the lives of children
across South Florida.
Torres personally struggled throughout elementary school
and learned to study later in life. It became clear to him that
a child is sometimes not aware of his or her own potential.
“I discovered that learning is a process that never stops,
regardless of age, profession or status,” he says. “This is
why I got involved in education; it’s why I’m so proud of the
tremendous progress we have made at the Early Learning
Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe in terms of getting children
ready for kindergarten.” He adds that before the age of 5, the
52 brain develops faster than at any other time, making it a key
period in a child’s personal and educational growth. Torres is
proud of the fact that tremendous progress has been made in
making sure that early education is recognized as part of the
Florida Department Of Education’s PreK-20 Education Strategic
Plan. He believes it’s important to give back to the next
generation of educators and leaders — and to that end, has
taught at Florida International University for the past 13 years.
On a more personal note, he recently began a running routine,
first setting a humble goal of a half-marathon and later upping
the ante to a full-marathon. “It was very difficult for me to get in
the training hours because I was traveling a lot for work,” he says.
“I would repeatedly complain to my colleagues that I didn’t think I
could do it and they would have to pick me up on the side of the
road!” After practicing for weeks, when the day of his first full
marathon race finally arrived, he put on his “game face” and ran
the 26.2 mile stretch as though he was born to do it. “My first
words when I came back to the office were ‘I can’t wait to do it