Press Releases

Sou⁠t⁠h Flor⁠i⁠da Teen En⁠t⁠repreneur W⁠i⁠ns JMI Award; JMI Announces Pres⁠t⁠on A. Wells, Jr. Cen⁠t⁠er for Amer⁠i⁠can Ideals

By: The James Madison Institute / 2013

What a Florida Teen Entrepreneur Can Teach Us About the American Dream

JMI Announces New Preston A. Wells, Jr.
Center for American Ideals

Preston Wells Student Award winner Willow Tufano (far left) with Barbara Wells (center) and Jim Ulmer (far right) of the Lillian S. Wells Foundation. Watch JMI’s short film about Willow here.

JMI Launches Preston A. Wells, Jr. Center for
American Ideals at a South Florida Constitution Day Celebration 
~ The Institute presented award to North Port teen entrepreneur and
Ellen DeGeneres Show feature, Willow Tufano ~

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – As Americans across the nation commemorated the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by the delegates of the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787, The James Madison Institute (JMI), one of Florida’s largest and oldest research and educational organizations, held a public event at the JA World Huizenga Center at Broward College to highlight this day in history. JMI also announced the establishment of the Preston A. Wells, Jr. Center for American Ideals.

“We really enjoy sharing the celebration of our Constitution with the community and are extremely excited to publicly announce the establishment of the Preston A. Wells, Jr. Center for American Ideals,” said Rebecca Liner, executive vice president of JMI. “Taking time with the next generation to tell the amazing story behind this historic document, America’s founding principles and why we still value them today is of critical importance.”
Near bronzed replicas of the Constitution at the Huizenga Center, the event titled, “An Exceptional Constitution for an Exceptional People,” featured guest speaker David Azerrad, Associate Director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at The Heritage Foundation. Azerrad has studied the U.S. Constitution in detail and works to promote the founding principles throughout his efforts. His presentation provided a different and unique perspective on the United States system.
“The Constitution doesn’t tell us what to do, it tells us how to do it. It is designed for a free people to govern themselves,” said Azerrad speaking to the crowd. “The genius of our Constitution is that it is 226 years old, but it’s as relevant today as it was when it was written.”
The program also included a short film produced by JMI about a North Port, FL teen and Ellen DeGeneres Show feature, Willow Tufano, who started her own used goods business and saved enough money to buy her own house at 14 years of age, which she now rents to tenants. The film ties in ideas from U.S. founding principles and shows young entrepreneurship in action. At this event, JMI presented Tufano with the Preston Wells Student Award for her achievements. To view the film of Tufano’s story click here. “I’m excited to receive this award from The James Madison Institute,” said Tufano. “The past few years have been full of life lessons and I’m grateful for all this experience has taught me. I want to tell other kids like myself to turn their ideas into action. Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you can’t make it happen.”

WATCH NOW – Thrifty: The Story of Willow Tufano


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