Washington, February 24, 2020
Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor a true “Man of Vision,” Mr. Ross Anderson. He was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and has left an indelible mark in our hometown. Mr. Anderson graduated from Hillsborough High School and the University of South Florida. He received his graduate degrees from Columbia Southern University and Waldorf College, respectively. While Mr. Anderson takes great pride in his distinguished education and vocation, he is most proud to be the father of James Elaissaint-Anderson and Henry Tillman Jr., and the grandfather of Jasmine Tillman.
Mr. Anderson saw a profound need in our community for mentorship directed towards young men whom he often refers as “our boys.” His vision for mentorship led him to leave his career as a successful corporate executive. In 2006, one year into his tenure as a teacher, Mr. Anderson helped found Men of Vision at Sligh Middle School. In 2010, Men of Vision, Inc. was established with the concept of “Action & Vision can change the World.” The effort starts at the community level but knows no limits in its outreach. In Mr. Anderson’s world, “our boys” enhance their personal development, and by doing so, address the physical and social needs of their communities. It also follows that they then promote better relations among all people through a framework of friendship and service, and provide an overall vision for the future.
Men of Vision is open to young boys and men from ages 10 to 19, fifth grade through post-secondary school. The group is organized into elementary, middle and high schools throughout the community. Membership is open to young men regardless of race, color, ability, creed, gender, national origin or religion, reflecting the diversity of Tampa Bay, the community it serves. The impact has been tremendous.
Mr. Anderson serves as a guide, mentor and advocate for “our boys,” some who may be on the brink of hopelessness. By boosting these individuals and turning them instead into confident contributors and leaders, Mr. Anderson lifts our community one Man of Vision at a time. He has dedicated his life to ensuring that Tampa’s future generations believe they can make a difference in the community in which they live by focusing on serving others and respecting themselves as vital members of our community. Nearly 100 percent of Men of Vision complete high school and many continue higher education.
Madam Speaker, on behalf of the citizens of Florida and my neighbors across Tampa Bay, I am proud to honor Ross Anderson this Black History Month. Mr. Anderson’s untiring efforts and selfless devotion are a shining beacon to all of us, especially the young people in our community. The time and energy he has invested into developing our youth and making Tampa Bay a better place to live are unmatched. His legacy will live on in history through the hundreds of young men and the community at large that he has inspired and impacted.