Florida, United States

Modello was a Federal housing project in South Dade County below Miami, Florida. Modello was for Janet Reno, then State Attorney for Dade County, a real “thorn in her side.” At the end of the three-year project, the transformations among many of the residents were dramatic.

Dr. Roger Mills, having received his first PhD in engineering, first worked in the “hard” sciences. This critical questioning background served us well. After he learned about the Principles of resiliency from Sydney Banks, Roger felt the need to truly “put it to the test.” He felt that if the Principles were universal then they should apply to everyone – even the poorest and most challenged among us. In the late 1980’s Roger initiated his “test” in Modello.





Roger Mills began to adapt this approach as a community prevention strategy in 1987 (later he began calling it “Health Realization”). He initially tested it in the low-income Modello and Homestead Gardens housing projects, in Dade County, Florida, which were replete with substance abuse, drug gangs, and violence (Mills 1990). Results of this project by Pransky, Mills, Sedgeman & Blevens (1997), indicated that for the 150 families and 650 youth served by the program in the two housing projects, after three years, households selling or using drugs dropped from 65% to less than 20%; the overall crime rate, which had been endemic, decreased by 70-80%; the teen pregnancy rate dropped from 50+% to 10%; school dropout rates dropped from 60% to 10%; child abuse and neglect, which was endemic, decreased by 70+%; households on public assistance went from 65% to negligible; and the parent unemployment rate dropped from 85% to 35%.

Prevention from the Inside Out
by Jack Pransky, pg 125



“What you are about to read is a remarkable story. This story, indeed, shows us the “grand nature and infinite possibilities” living within every person – even those society would rather forget, blame or write off… the story of Modello, however, is a story of hope, a story of what can happen when people… realize their innate resilience – the power they possess to transform and chane their lives. Ultimate, the story of Modello and Homstead Gardens demonstrates that “Health Realization” offers the prevention, education, and intervention fields the bese examples of how simple and commonsensical are solutions to even seemingly intractable social problems… In these times when many people are feeling a growing sense of powerlessness to change socienty, Modello demonstrates that social change is an inside-out process. It starts with each of our hearts and minds, with our thoughts about each others.”

– Bonnie Benard

Modello Book Study

Join the Modello Book Study Group to download the free Book Study guide. This Book Study was developed, co-written & co-produced by Dr. Jack Pransky, Dr. Diane McMillen and Lynanne Lawhead.


Roger Mills, Janet Reno, Jack Pransky, Rita Shuford, PhD, Cynthia Stennis, Lloyd Fields, Pam Gibson


We would like to thank Jack Pransky, Rudi Kennard and Three Principles Movies.


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