More than 180 members of the FIU Online team dedicated an entire day to working together for a greater cause. As part of a yearly tradition, the team chooses a local project where they are able to volunteer.
This year, they joined forces with the Education Effect to help repaint and update Miami Edison Senior High School, one of the school’s in Ed Effect’s feeder pattern.
“The purpose of the service day is to help our team work together and learn new things about each other,” said Joseph Riquelme, assistant vice president and head of FIU Online. “Through service, we are able to step out of comfort zones and work together to help another organization and give back.”
From repainting the cafeteria, which hadn’t been painted in more than two decades to creating a special “Panther Hall” to honor the work done by FIU, the team worked together to provide the school with a much-needed makeover.
In addition, the FIU Online team built and donated a new computer lab that included a computer donation valued at more than $25,000. Overall, with paint and other materials, the team was able to donate more than $35,000 to the school.
“Collaborations such as this one are essential for the success of the Education Effect and the work we are doing,” said Donnie Hale, director of the Education Effect. “Being able to raise awareness within the FIU community and collaborate with different units to bring more resources to our schools is what we are about.”
For more than seven years, FIU has collaborated with Miami-Dade County Public Schools through the Education Effect to leverage FIU’s university expertise, resources and research-based intervention programs focused on youth development, family involvement, teacher professional development and community engagement to supplement work in some of Miami’s most needy schools.
In 2016, the partnership expanded into Little Haiti with a $2 million donation gift by a local philanthropist. The expansion into Jesse J. McCrary Elementary marked the first time FIU based its work out of an elementary school and marked the beginning of working in the school’s feeder programs, including Miami Edison Senior High School.
“You being here today demonstrates to our kids that you care, FIU cares,” said Miami Edison Senior High School Principal Leon P. Maycock. “We are working together to continue creating a school that we can be proud of, and where students continue to make the impossible, possible.”