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The First Step Program


Welcome to First Step, a video series featuring athletes engaging the communities most affected by today’s social issues, from education and unemployment, to child hunger and homelessness among LGBTQ youth. In this installment, Michael Thomas of the Miami Dolphins takes a first step in helping the youth of Fort Pierce communicate with law enforcement.


Personally programs like the First Step program did not exist in the neighborhoods I grew up in. I grew up in fear of law enforcement, and would speak negatively about it until a relationship was formed due to the common ground of sports. That common ground helped me realize that our law enforcement officials were human beings too.

Once I saw what the First Step program was all about I knew I had to get involved, because I know that my relationships with law enforcement changed my perception as a teenager. I can only imagine the impression that officers can make on this generation if they start a relationship with kids when they are young….Read more.


Recent Videos


Dolphins Safety Michael Thomas
Talks New Coach, Community Work.

Watch Video Now!


Sam Barrington Talks About
Launching The First Step Program
In Jacksonville, Florida.

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Michael Thomas talks on NFL HQ
about Scott Vanduzer’s First Step.

Watch Video Now!



Video Archive


Dolphin Star Takes The Frst Step

by Brian Warner, TCPalm – Oct. 15, 2015

In early October, St. Lucie community leaders gathered together to take The First Step, gathering with youth from the Fort Pierce community to play ball, hang out, and begin a relationship.

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St. Lucie County Leaders Take ‘The First Step’ With Local Youth

by Zach Dean, TCPalm – Oct. 06, 2015

“The First Step” is a project put together by Scott Van Duzer, Johnson, and State Representative Larry Lee Jr., and is intended to bring community leaders together with nearly 30 local children of all ages, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., every Tuesday for football (or any other activity), pizza, and, most importantly, the chance to get to know each other.

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Everybody Wants To Be Just Lke Troop 772

by Anthony Westbury, TCPalm – Jul.. 08, 2014

Lee and pizza philanthropist Scott Van Duzer are the guiding forces behind the success of Boy Scout Troop 772 in Fort Pierce. Now it seems the troop is inspiring others across South Florida to follow suit.

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Fatal Shootings In Fort Pierce ‘Discouraging’ As Community Battles Violence

by Elliott Jones, TCPalm – Aug. 21, 2014

“It is really discouraging,” said state Rep. Larry Lee Jr., who last year helped start a citizen anti-crime movement, Restoring the Village, coupled with stepping up law enforcement.

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Some Encouraging Signs Of Progress In Fort Pierce

by Anthony Westbury, TCPalm – Sep. 12, 2013

Less than half the 800 residents who came to State Rep. Larry Lee’s first Call to Action meeting on July 31 turned out for the Restoring the Village get-together on Monday evening. Yet the 300 people in attendance learned a lot more about programs that are already combating the violence.

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