AMIkids Miami-Dade, formerly known as Dade Marine Institute is a private, not for profit, alternative based program for adjudicated youth referred through the Department of Juvenile Justice. AMIkids finds solutions for juvenile crime issues that face Miami-Dade County through a low-risk, non-punitive marine guided environment for approximately 3-9 months.

We traditionally deal with at-risk youth, 14-19 years of age who have been redirected through the courts system to help change their life without slipping further into the legal system. We boast an 89% success rate locally; meaning that nearly 90% of the youth whom successfully complete our program never have a brush with the law again. We work with youth on strict educational, legal and treatment programming in a marine environment. Our staff approach blends the best of structure, discipline, care and nurturing.

We know there is a bright future for every kid. In this, we find hope, excitement, discovery, promise and success.


AMIkids Miami-Dade's mission is to
protect the public safety and positively impact
as many youth as possible through the efforts
of a diverse and innovative staff


Our Board of Trustees is comprised of staff and management from local businesses to include Bacardi, Banco Santander International, Burger King, IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Shutts and Bowen P.A., as well as other private law, accounting, and property development companies. Each Board Member serves on a volunteer basis and is committed to making a difference in the lives of troubled youth throughout Miami-Dade County.


During their stay at the program, kids are exposed to a wide range of educational opportunities that will afford them the tools they need to continue their education in the field of their choice and secure quality employment. Youth have the opportunity for credit recovery to earn their way back to the appropriate grade level, vital for those kids returning to local public schools.


Programs include basic water safety, SCUBA, boat maintenance and repair, power boat handling, basic sail operations, and other hands-on training. We strive to provide all youth with experiences and opportunities not otherwise available to them. The results are startling, specifically in youth with serious learning and behavioral concerns.


Discipline is defined as the provision of consequences for behaviors. This means that our students receive recognition for positive behaviors, and negative consequences for inappropriate behaviors. We believe discipline for both behaviors is only effective if it possesses warmth. Our unique behavior process is effective because students are accountable for their actions; they understand their expectations and are constantly working to meet and exceed their goals. Over 89% of the kids that successfully complete the program have no future contact with the law.


Respect for Authority
Respect for Property
Respect for Self
Completing the program as a law abiding,
tax paying member of the community


Since inception in 1974, AMIkids Miami-Dade has partnered with our local communities to educate, instruct and help more than 9,700 misguided youth who were not progressing in conventional school settings. The goal is and has always been to develop these misguided teens into accountable, responsible and productive members of our community. Combining our 35-year history and national expertise with community ownership, AMIkids Miami-Dade has achieved an 89% success rate, which means more than 89% of our teens whom graduate, re-enroll in a high school education, start working or begin higher education coursework and develop into responsible, productive and crime-free citizens giving back to the community.

Locally, AMIkids Miami-Dade is supported by the Untied Way, Fisher Island Philanthropic Fund, GAP Foundation, JM Family Foundation, Ruth Admire Foundation to name a few. AMIkids Miami-Dade also regularly partners with the local Red Cross, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Hands on Miami, Shake-A-Leg, Humane Society of Miami-Dade County, Virginia Key Beach Trust, Island Dolphin Care, Adopt-a-Shore, Oleta River State Park and other various community service projects and ongoing educational and employment initiatives.


AMIkids currently operates 2 campuses in Miami-Dade County; our south campus on Virginia Key, and our north campus at the entrance to Florida International University – North on Oleta State Park. The south campus is named after the Honorable William E. Gladstone who for 43 years still serves Miami-Dade County and its children and who was recently named a Champion for Children by the Children’s Trust.

Today at our two schools, we serve up to 150 local girls and boys’ ages 14-19 daily. Our team of 34 employees includes 10 teachers, 4 behavior specialist, and 6 mental health therapists and case managers who are also assisted by our volunteers. If you would like to learn more about our students and program please call anytime 305.361.7934 ext.106 or email MiamiDadeSouth-AA@amikids.org to set up a time to speak with one of our board members or to meet the Director and program staff. The students, staff and board of trustees greatly appreciate your interest and patronage.

AMIkids Miami-Dade North
2701 NE 151st Street
North Miami Beach, Florida 33160
AMIkids Miami-Dade South
1820 Arthur Lamb Jr. Road
Miami, Florida 33133
(305) 361-7934



Josue V.

Jacob O.

Josue began at AMIkids Miami-Dade in April 2007. He came to us with major substance abuse issues, and even had to be referred to inpatient treatment. In addition to substance abuse issues, Josue also had attendance problems along with numerous family issues. Josue was headed down the path of being transferred to a residential facility if he could not get clean and attend school regularly. Once Josue returned from inpatient treatment he began to turn his life around. Josue tested clean on all drug tests from that point on and began attending school on a regular basis. He was chosen to attend our annual Whitewater Rafting Trip in North Carolina with AMIkids and stayed to achieve the rank of Admiral. As an Admiral, Josue received a scholarship to attend college and hopes to become a firefighter. Josue is part of the Explorer program with Miami-Dade currently in the downtown area.

Jacob began AMIkids Miami-Dade in June of 2008. Jacob completed the program with straight Gold cards. He was always a quiet youth on campus and served as a silent leader but was always willing to do speaking engagements for United Way and conduct program tours at the school. Jacob chose to stay at AMIkids Miami-Dade for additional time in order to become an Admiral – this allowed him a two year scholarship. Once Jacob earned the rank of Admiral Jacob became a great leader to the other students and became much more vocal. It was impressive to see this young man gain more esteem right before our eyes. Jacob participated in at least fifteen speaking engagements and assisted staff with clerical work, in the office. Jacob graduated as a high school graduate and left with an internship with Virginia Key Trust and a job at Publix. He is also enrolled in MDC.


Exceptional service for individual youths
and their families

AMIKids Miami-Dade has been working with at-risk teens throughout Miami-Dade County since 1974:

AMIkids programs are structured around the AMIkids Way, a non-traditional approach of creating an environment that provides stability and structure through six guiding principles:

We employ 35 staff; all of whom reside in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties
We reinvest over $2.4 Million supporting the Community
We have had 9,711 youth successfully complete the program
We average a successful termination rate of 90.68%
We average 40 Community Service Hours per youth
We average a recidivism rate of 11%

Family Environment – Our staff build strong relationships with the kids to help them see education and work in a new light
No Bars – We are a community-based alternative to cells, bars and razor wire
Culturally Relevant – We embrace and provide relevant opportunities for the youth to express and support their diverse ethnic heritages and cultural backgrounds
Enthusiasm – We support, encourage and reward education and personal growth
Smaller Class Size – We strive to limit the ratio to one staff member for every ten students
Kids First – Every decision is based on what is best for our kids


Adopting a youth at AMIkids Miami-Dade is easy. A small donation from the community covers the following activities for our youth:

$200 pays for uniforms and school clothes – per youth
$275 pays to maintain our vessels and keep them operational – per youth
$350 pays for all meals and snacks – per youth
$825 pays for all youth education, training and certifications – per youth

$1,600 will fully support one youth through program completion and will provide them with:

School Supplies
Daily Meals (Breakfast and Lunch)
Daily Snack
Additional School Transportation Services
Additional Vocational and Marine Training and Supplies
Experiential Education Activity Classes
Beginning Career and College Opportunities

Sponsorship dollars also support experiential education – Opportunities such as these would not otherwise be available to our youth and are the core of our rehabilitative philosophy.

$2,500 sponsors a diving adventure for 4 youth
$3,500 sends 6 youth on a white water rafting and rappelling trip once yearly
$5,000 sponsors an entire classroom for one year (books, supplies, computers / other materials)


AMIKids Miami Dade Website