Role Models Foundation, Inc. was founded by Bill Maxwell and was incorporated in 1995 as a 501 (c)(3) Florida non-profit corporation operating exclusively for educational, charitable and scientific purposes to serve youth, with emphasis on those who experience barriers.
The St. Petersburg Times was instrumental in helping the foundation launch the Role Models newsletter, which evolved into Role Models Today newspaper with the assistance of the Ocala Star-Banner. In 1999 the newspaper went online as Role Models Today, for youth by youth, hosted at the University of Florida.
Role Models Foundation, with Role Models Today as its main engine, teaches by example and dedicates itself to developing both journalists and productive citizens and future generations of leaders.
Model professionalism in journalism and to offer training for aspiring writers, photographers and artists
Encourage and enable young people to succeed
Build skills, to give vital information about life, to show what works and what does not work, to build character and to develop a lifelong network of friends and associates
Promote citizenship and to help young people serve their communities
Recognize young people for their accomplishments and to help them attain their educational and career goals
Broaden the horizons, perspectives and expectations of young people
Counteract negative stereotyping
Inspire scientific endeavors that improve our communities and the natural world.