Rockets and the moon: launching talent and fostering life skills through STEM

-- via Opportunity Miami

Brandon Okpalobi ripped apart his Nintendo at a young age to understand how it worked. “My parents were beyond upset, but that started my tinkering at a very young age. And then I started to look at different things in science,” said Okpalobi, a Nigerian-American entrepreneur and former University of Miami college basketball player. “I think that we’ve put science in a box, and sometimes we don't understand that science is in everything.”

Okpalobi is changing that for the next generation.

After graduating from UM with a degree in Computer Information Systems, he merged his passions for sports and science into several companies and nonprofits (DIBIA Athletic Development, DIBIA Dream, Inc.) that engage underserved students through after-school programs, summer camps, and hands-on workshops that foster life skills development through STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

“That's how you start to build the ideas and the change that we want to see,” he said. “Science is in everything that we do. So it was really about having fun.”

The programs also expose children to different career paths. “That's what we're trying to do: Make sure kids see the fun in science and say, okay, I can be a personal trainer or a physical therapist, or I can be a doctor. Or as you see, the Golden State Warriors now, they use basketball analytics to see how they're going to win games…You can do anything with science.”
Dibia DREAM launched in 2014 and has since engaged over 20,000 children across 32 states and 12 countries. Okpalobi is also a STEM host on Discovery Education for kids and launched Siyanse, a home-delivery STEM kit for kids.

“We're excited to change the name of science and really have people excited about science going forward,” he said.

Tom Brady and Lewis Hamilton’s IWC Watches Helped Raise Over $100,000 for Charity


This weekend’s Miami Grand Prix cast a pretty long shadow. On Wednesday, watches worn by some big-name athletes in a pre-race charity golf match helped raise some serious money for local youth.

The timepieces, which Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, NFL quarterback Tom Brady and others wore in IWC’s Big Pilot Golf Challenge last week, were sold in a Bonhams auction that generated over $100,000.

All of the timepieces in the auction are part of IWC’s Top Gun line. Brady’s sand-colored ceramic timepiece, seen above, is a pleasing time-and-date watch. It’s powered by the Calibre 52110 automatic movement, which achieves an impressive seven-day power reserve with an indicator at 3 o’clock. It’s one of just 250 examples made this year, and is the first Big Pilot to appear in this colorway and material. The lot, which sold for $30,000, above its $25,000 low estimate, came with a set of the football player’s own Callaway golf clubs.

Hamilton’s watch doubles down on the complications, featuring both a perpetual calendar and moon phase indicator. It’s powered by the 52615 movements, and it is understandably rarer than the watch Brady wore. IWC made only 150 of these watches. It came with a signed pair of racing shoes that he wore during the 2022 Bahrain and Saudi Grand Prix, and sold for $55,000, just north of its $50,000 low estimate.

The sale’s proceeds will benefit Laureus Sport for Good, with the primary beneficiary being Dibia DREAM, which uses STEM and recreational education to help underserved youths in Miami. The charity’s CEO, Brandon Okpalobi, also had a watch up for sale in the auction: His white ceramic Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition “Lake Tahoe” went for $15,000. The same model worn by the former NFL running back Marcus Allen hammered down for $18,000, along with a signed football.

AT&T Foundation gives $300K to local nonprofits to help children realize their dreams

From the Miami Herald 

AT&T Foundation gives $300K to local nonprofits to help children realize their dreams

Read more here:

The AT&T Foundation recently pledged $300,000 to several local Miami nonprofits to help youths and young adults succeed.

The donation is part of AT&T’s Believe Miami initiative, which was recently launched to help remove barriers that keep local youths and young adults from achieving their dreams.

The organizations that AT&T pledged to help include Dibia DREAM, His House Children’s Home, the Miami Marlins Foundation, Pridelines, Breakthrough Miami, Miami Rescue Mission, and Florida International University.

To kick off the Believe Miami initiative, AT&T employees assisted more than 100 students with designing, building and racing cars at FIU as part of Dibia DREAM’s STEM Saturdays program.

“Dibia DREAM is very excited to join with AT&T to launch Believe Miami,” said Brandon Okpalobi, Dibia DREAM founder. “Our STEM Saturdays program is about creating incubators of excellence where youth can safely engage, collaborate, and have fun together. We thank AT&T for their generous contribution, which will allow our high school participants access to hands-on science and technology activities.”


Through Chevron’s Fuel Your School Program, the company recently donated supplies and $10,000 to Henry Flagler Elementary School to fund four classroom projects and help complete the school’s new robotics lab.

With the help of, Chevron’s Fuel Your School Program supports K-12 teachers by funding classroom materials at public schools throughout the Hialeah, Doral and Miami areas. Since 2013, the program has donated nearly $3 million to South Florida schools, funding more than 3,000 projects.

“We are honored to be here at Henry Flagler Elementary School to give back to the community,” said Damon Echevarria, vice president, Americas Products U.S. East & Latin America, at Chevron. “The Fuel Your School Program is part of Chevron’s overall support for education, helping to provide teachers with the tools to help prepare students for the jobs of the future.”


Students, faculty and staff at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School have started their annual Thanksgiving Drive to provide holiday meals to needy families.

Students will collect donated items and create bags filled with traditional Thanksgiving fare, like mashed potatoes, corn and cranberry sauce, and a supermarket gift card so that families can purchase a turkey. Donations are being accepted now through Nov. 25 at the school’s office at 6600 Miami Lakeway North in Miami Lakes.


The faculty and staff at Monsignor Edward Pace High School will host an open house from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 23 at 15600 NW 32nd Ave. in Miami Gardens.

During the open house, prospective families will have the chance to meet current teachers and students and to visit the school’s newly renovated STEM lab, which features Makerbot 3D Printers and student-produced robots.

For more information, call the main office at 305-623-7223.

Laureus Foundation Feature

We were featured on Laureus Foundation’s website. Read More.

Empowering Kids to Play Every Day with Nickelodeon

We are thrilled to officially announce our national partnership with Nickelodeon. Together, we will inspire youth to lead healthy lifestyles through the transformative power of sport and play. To kick off the partnership, we have made grants to five after-school sport programs in underserved communities to help support their mission and expand their impact. These grants are an important part of Nickelodeon’s ongoing health and wellness efforts, as it uses its global  platforms to educate kids about the importance of playing every day.

“At Nickelodeon we are excited about expanding opportunities for kids and play in collaboration with Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA and its partners that offer best-in-class athletic, academic and youth development programs.  We are proud to highlight these five programs with a Nickelodeon PLAY grant because they align with Nickelodeon’s mission to make the world a more playful place.” – Jean Margaret Smith, Senior Vice President of Nickelodeon Public Affairs and Administration Last year, we teamed up with Nickelodeon to host play days across the country that invited hundreds of youth to try a variety of sports and physical activities. Now, we have made grants in five major cities: New Orleans, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York City and Chicago. As an experienced grant-maker in the sports-based youth development space, Laureus USA will administer these grants and assist with monitoring and evaluation.

“Nickelodeon truly cares about the health and wellness of its youth audiences, and we are honored to partner with them in making a positive impact on cities across the country. These grants will provide more youth the opportunity to achieve healthy lifestyles, which we know will lead to brighter futures.” – Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, Olympic Gold Medalist and CEO of Laureus USA

In New Orleans, we have made a grant to support Didbia DREAM, which provides youth a safe and constructive space for youth to play after-school and develop their social and emotional skills. In Chicago, we are supporting XS Tennis, an afterschool tennis program that also focuses on academic achievement that is available for free to youth in the South Side. In Los Angeles, we have made a grant to Woodcraft Rangers to support their all-girls sports programs at local elementary schools. In New York City, we are supporting Play Rugby USA, who engages youth across all 5 NYC boroughs in after-school rugby programs that also focus on academic achievement. In Atlanta, we are supporting Atlanta Track Club and their free, incentive-based running program Kilometer Kids that promotes and healthy and active lifestyle to children aged 7-14.

Together we will continue to advocate for kids to be active on a daily basis, and works towards making the world a more playful place one community at a time.

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