Hundreds of students from high schools from across Miami-Dade came together Friday to get a message from a master of word delivery, Rev. Al Sharpton.
"Let's fight the real war, the war against ignorance, the war against illiteracy, the war against drop out, that's my message," Sharpton told NBC 6 South Florida.
Sharpton spoke at Florida International University, calling on South Florida students to reach their highest academic potential through a partnership called Education for a Better America.
"He's a very enthusiastic speaker. And seeing him in person is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said high school senior Hayden Grahl.
Sharpton and other speakers urged students to develop a plan now for choosing a college, getting accepted and figuring out how to pay for it.
Grahl admitted it can be hard to stay focused.
"Sometimes it just gets boring and there's just not like a push to want to continue," Grahl said. "You need to stay in school, you need to continue on to higher education."
Radio personality Lorenzo "Ice Tea" Thomas stressed the key to success is finding your passion and pursuing it.
"Senior year was hard for all of us but I think with the right mindset, I think you can accomplish anything," Killian Senior High senior Katelyn Saboteur said.