Education

MDC Single Stop Mentoring Program:Access, Retention, and Success

Miami Dade College (MDC) Single Stop program is a “One Stop Shop” for students to connect to social services, mentoring programs, and academic counseling. Established in 2010, MDC Single Stop program proactively works to assist low-income students to obtain a college degree. MDC and its partners provide necessary counseling and coaching for participants from pre-registration to graduation and job placement. The program... more »
Who are you?

The MDC Mentoring Program is an initiative that place students in a 2-year mentoring relationships. The program provides one-on-one academic support and career coaching that enable students to achieve a college degree and employment upon graduation.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

In 2009, 1,475 young adults aged out of foster care in Florida. Based on recent statistics, less than 50% will earn a high school diploma before they turn 22, most will experience homelessness and only 30% will be gainfully employed. Nationally less than 3% of former foster care youth your ever obtain a college degree. Through the MDC Single Stop Mentoring Program, MDC can expand its program to assist these young adults to obtain a college degree and career success.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

The strength of Miami relies on its residents. We must provide the opportunity for an education to all residents and implement systems to help our citizens to succeed. In partnership with Educate Tomorrow, an organization that promotes independence through education, MDC is working to close the gap of educational attainment for former foster care youth. Support from the Miami Foundation would help MDC to expand the mentor program to a silent and extremely at risk population in our community.

Please give examples of your project's success.

The MDC Mentoring program has traditional served our most at-risk population. Over the past three years, 343 mentor/mentee relationships have been established. For academic year 2013/2014, the average participant GPA was 3.0. 69% of the participants have a completion rate of 50% and more are on track to graduate this year. This past summer our mentoring program implemented an executive paid internship program which include permit job placement.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Miami Dade College

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66 votes
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Education

Increasing High School Graduation Rates Among At-Risk Girls

Women of Tomorrow helps at-risk girls overcome obstacles, gain skills, improve academic performance, graduate from high school and go on to higher education and lives of greater opportunity. Our program includes group mentoring sessions, supportive peer relationships, career-focused field trips and specialized college campus visits, all designed to encourage girls to stay in school and aim high. Our efforts prevent dropouts,... more »
Who are you?

We are a unique mentoring program pairing mentors with small groups of at-risk high school girls. Our program prevents high school dropouts, increases access to higher education, fosters workforce development and creates pathways out of poverty.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Our program is designed to meet the needs of at-risk teenage girls in public high schools. By providing them with the resources and support they need, mentees learn the importance and impact that their education has on their future: improve their grades, graduate from high school, pursue higher education and lead lives of greater oppotunity. Our program provides services at a low cost per student per year, rewarding participants and the community with tens of thousands of dollars in return.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

High school dropouts are seven times more likely to be living in poverty than those holding bachelor’s degrees. The costs of dropping out are borne not only by the individuals, but also by our communities. Our program addresses this need by achieving program objectives and community impact through increased high school graduation rates, increased likelihood of higher education and statistically significant increases in self esteem and grade point averages.

Please give examples of your project's success.
  1. 96% high school graduation rate in Miami-Dade
  2. .05 average increase in GPA
  3. Increased likelihood of higher education: Of colleges, universities and technical schools that report to the National Student Clearinghouse, we know that a minimum of 73-80% of our graduates have enrolled in higher education. After 6 years at least 57% have graduated college with a degree, a statistic which is comparable to national average.
  4. We serve mentees in every public high school in Miami-Dade County

Organization Name (or individuals name) Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program

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4 votes
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Education

Support Tomorrow's Future

The mission of Support Tomorrow’s Future (STF) is to provide educational consulting, coaching, outreach, counseling and financial support to families, students and educators to fulfill their educational goals and innovative academic pursuits. We are a private, non-profit organization with the vision of improving access to educational opportunities for all and motivating students to enroll in higher education.

Who are you?

STF is a 501(c)3 dedicated to increasing school success among low-income middle-school students in Miami-Dade County by providing after-school programs that focus on academic support, life skills, leadership training, and social responsibility.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

STF was founded on the premise that all children, if given the opportunity, can overcome the obstacles to achievement and become the leaders of tomorrow. At STF our goal is to create upward momentum for low-income youth in our community by partnering with parents and schools to provide innovative after-school programs. By targeting middle-school students, we hope to bridge the gap in education and help students to become high school ready and college bound.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Education

Please give examples of your project's success.

STF is the product of years of research and careful planning. The agency founder has operated a successful educational consulting service for over 5 years. STF's after-school program is a combination of this experience and the desire to reach low income kids at their most pivotal age – the middle school years. We have identified several middle schools in Miami-Dade that are in need of after-school programs, and will pursue partnerships with these schools to offer services on location.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Support Tomorrow's Future

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4 votes
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Education

The Miami Greenhouse Project

The Greenhouse Project is a program of NY Sun Works dedicated to improving K through 12 grade Environmental Science Education in urban schools. We use hydroponic farming technology with integrated curriculum and professional development to educate students and teachers about science and sustainability. The science content of our program is conveyed through the lens of hydroponic urban farming and addresses topics in biology,... more »
Who are you?

NY Sun Works is a non-profit organization that envisions a generation of environmental innovators, empowered to create solutions to global resource challenges. See how we’re growing by visiting www.nysunworks.org

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

The environmental challenges confronting the next generation require a sophisticated understanding of how science can be applied. Implementation of the Miami Greenhouse Project Program in Miami-Dade K-8 schools will be a critical step in providing students with the necessary knowledge and 21st century skills to tackle complex global issues, especially those related to climate change.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Our programs capture the interest and engagement of all students, including groups underrepresented in STEM fields such as females and minorities. Our cross-disciplinary learning addresses science and sustainability, nonfiction reading, writing, math and social studies by connecting subjects through critical thinking practice. Sun Works helps students thrive academically by offering an interactive tool for engaging science learning in a safe environment that invites exploration and discovery.

Please give examples of your project's success.

In five years, Sun Works has implemented The Greenhouse Project in 17 schools in the NYC area, with 14 more in development. We have produced a comprehensive Science and Sustainability K-8 curriculum that utilizes our hydroponic systems to cover common core and state mandated standards in science and other disciplines. We have trained over 100 teachers, and we directly impact over 4,900 students in public schools each year. To learn more about our projects, visit www.nysunworks.org/projects.

Organization Name (or individuals name) NY Sun Works

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21 votes
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Education

Liberty to Make

A makerspace in Liberty City will help locals garner & foster their entrepreneurial & creative talents while coming together as a community. This culturally-infused makerspace will serve as a hub for socially-conscious technological innovation through hands-on education. Community members will gain specialized skills in fields such as design thinking, 3D printing, modeling & fabrication, & programming. Liberty to Make... more »
Who are you?

MIAMade is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a sustainable maker culture in Miami.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Our program will promote specialized skills & embed the principles of making that will lead to neighborhood development & job growth for new makers. Students that pursue a postsecondary education with a concentration in a STEAM disciplines, are more likely to either change studies or drop out if they didn’t receive prior hands-on training. Making will accelerate the creative process and extend collaborative processes while giving them a new value for artisanship.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Providing Maker Education opportunities to the people of Liberty City through an ambassador teaching program allows them to broaden & transfer their knowledge in STEAM fields. These new skills contribute to the workforce & will lower risk for unemployment. An interest in making can increase not only high school graduation rates from 77.2% in Miami to surpass national standards, but also increase enrollment in postsecondary education with the hands-on training that they will gain.

Please give examples of your project's success.

Liberty to Make is a reinvisioned Wynwood Maker Camp, developing new innovative thinkers in the Liberty City community. MIAMade’s maker events and programs, such as the Miami Mini Maker Faire, Maker Saturdays and the camp, has exposed STEAM disciplines to over 6,500 citizens in Miami. As a result, youth have been exposed to interdisciplinary approaches to making, confidence in the making process & a sense of pride in their final products.

Organization Name (or individuals name) MIAMade

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14 votes
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Education

Style Saves: Crazy Cool 4 Back 2 School 2015

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Founded by FORD Fashion Stylist Rachael Russell and a group of philanthropic-minded young professionals, Style Saves raises funds to help underprivileged students. In collaboration with The Miami Foundation, Style Saves works with local retail stores, designers, and boutiques to provide kids of all ages with back-to-school basics like clothing, uniforms, shoes, accessories, and prescription eyewear.

In 2014, over 1,500... more »
Who are you?

Style Saves is an organization that leverages partnerships with brands in the fashion, art, and hospitality realms in an effort to provide underprivileged kids with clothing, uniforms, and other necessities for their first day of school.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

In Miami-Dade county, nearly one in four children fall below the federal poverty line; in single parent families, that number increases to one in three (2011 US Census). A single mother of four needing to buy 2-3 uniforms at $40 a pop for each child will have to find an additional $500 to cover the cost of sending her kids to school. Style Saves steps in to help provide these basic necessities so that no child is unable to go to school due to lack of clothing.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

This project directly addresses Education Goal 2, “Miami-Dade Students of All Ages Thrive Academically.” By providing basic necessities such as clothing, uniforms, shoes, and prescription eyewear, Style Saves gives local kids of all ages a better chance to thrive academically by giving them the basic tools for success they so desperately need.

Please give examples of your project's success.

Since its founding in 2011, Style Saves has gone from raising $20,000 to help 50 students, to bringing in more than $170,000 and helping over 1,500 kids. Marianne Weiss, a Director at Big Brothers Big Sisters Miami, affirms, "…many of these children live in very high risk environments and come from low socioeconomic families. They would not have had the necessary clothing to begin school if it wasn't for Style Saves providing them with much needed outfits, shoes, and school uniforms."

Organization Name (or individuals name) Style Saves

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1 vote
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Education

Redirect at-risk, court directed youth academically and vocation

Combining the expertise of teachers and volunteer mentors from the business community and the University of Miami Law school, the first six months of the Empowered Youth (EY) Program are dedicated to teaching life skills and building character as a dropout prevention and academic performance improvement for students at-risk of failing, quitting school, ending up in prison or dead in the streets.
During the second six... more »
Who are you?

Mary Louise Cole, Ph.D., I am working to continue this successful program redirecting youth who would otherwise be lost in the streets of Miami Gardens and Liberty City. With more than 30 years experience working with at-risk youth, I'm here to help.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

EY 's goal is to improve each youth's academics in order to prepare him for subsequent academic efforts and/or a job. The goal for the 13-20 yr. old students is to have the basic reading and math skills to be successful in school and in jobs. Success in school and job trading build confidence in their ability to succeed in their future. Paid internships, job-training,job placement add to their hopes for a crime-free future. U.M. law student tutors are the role models missing from their lives.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

The Empowered Youth project addresses Grade school proficiency, H.S. graduation rates, college readiness, college enrollment, job readiness and employment data points from the 2014 report. The law school tutors work with the students' schools to raise their grades and build the students' confidence in their ability to read and do math. They also become he role models for why attaining a college education is important to youth from families where few have graduated high school.

Please give examples of your project's success.

The law students' tutoring is very effective even though many of the youth have no interest in school and only want to make money. They actually improve the reading and math proficiency of 75% of the youth. Fifty-six of the 70 students graduate from H.S.,90% of whom are prepared for college. Almost all, 90%, enroll in college while the others are delayed because they need to work to accumulate money first.
The students are in paid internships most often leading to employment.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Empowered Youth

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4 votes
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Education

HealthCorps - Empowering Youth Through Wellness

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HealthCorps University (HCU) is a train-the-trainer professional development program that empowers educators and administrators to bring HealthCorps’ innovative, health and wellness curriculum to schools, summer camps, community centers, and organizations. HCU provides hands-on training, engaging materials, tools, and support for trainees as they improve health and wellness through classroom education, staff engagement,... more »
Who are you?

HealthCorps University (HCU) is a train-the-trainer program within HealthCorps (HC), a 501(c)3, that was founded in 2003 by Dr. Mehmet Oz, and his wife Lisa, to combat the childhood obesity crisis.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Healthcorps’ in-school program has been in four high schools within Miami-Dade public schools since 2009; currently, we are present in two. Through our professional development trainings for district and school staff, we will be able to enhance the quality of health education that Miami students receive. The trainings will educate the staff, which will in-turn lead to enhancement of students’ life skills, health status and greater academic success.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Our project directly addresses the current 22.3% obesity rate in Miami, and perpetuates student academic success by educating adolescents on healthy life choices that pertain to nutrition, exercise, mental resilience, and necessary life-skills. As stated in The Our Miami Report, “there is a strong link between physical health and academic achievement.” Additionally, HCU will address the 3.6% deficiency Miami is currently experiencing from the Florida state average of high quality educators.

Please give examples of your project's success.

To date, HealthCorps’ curriculum has been deployed in 17 different states and has had an impact on approximately 300,000 teens and 600,000 of their family and community members. Our evidence based curriculum has increased student water consumption by 18%, has reduced 1% of body fat composition in overweight students within 8 months, and has increased student health knowledge by 11%. HCU has had nationwide success in empowering educators to address the health and wellness of their students.

Organization Name (or individuals name) HealthCorps

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17 votes
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Education

UMCCE: Pathways to Progress

Access to and success in postsecondary educational pursuits is an important factor in today’s socioeconomic climate, particularly in the United States. A substantial literature indicates that going to college is associated with significant increases in opportunity, income, career achievement, health, and quality of life. In America, however, unequal access to high quality educational opportunities remains a serious challenge.... more »
Who are you?

The University of Miami’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement fosters university-community collaboration by engaging the university’s academic resources in the enrichment of civic and community life in our local, national and global communities.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

The program seeks to address the disparities in high school education in Miami-Dade County Public Schools that leave many students unprepared for a college education by increasing educational opportunities for under-served students and improving their access to resources for college preparedness. In addition, the Partnership provides professional development and supplemental instruction resources for high school teachers.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

The program seeks not only to increase the number of students who go on to pursue higher education, but also to provide teachers with classroom support and enhanced materials from UM students who are up to date in their field areas and can help enhance education quality. Miami-Dade County spends less per pupil than the US average, and schools like Miami Southridge and Booker T. Washington have few resources to provide to their students and teachers and administrators who are spread thin.

Please give examples of your project's success.

As mentioned above, Pathways to Progress has been extremely popular with all parties involved. Assessments and evaluations show a high level of satisfaction from the UM students, the high school teachers, and the high school students. CCE employs a rigorous assessment model which measures the impact of the partnership in many ways, including how effective the curricular enhancements were and and how many indicators of the creation of a college-going culture were strengthened or developed.

Organization Name (or individuals name) University of Miami

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5 votes
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Education

Using QR Codes to Unlock Exotic plants at the Fruit & Spice Park

Quick Response codes, QR codes, will be created and placed on the existing labels of each of the plant specimens in the park. By using their Smartphones, visitors will be taken to the Park website where additional material can be accessed.

Who are you?

The Fruit & Spice Park is a 37 acre educational park in the heart of the Redland in Miami-Dade County that features tropical and subtropical edible and agricultural plants. These are plants that impact the lives of people all over the world.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

By placing QR codes on the labels of the plants in the Park, the Park visitor will have access to an expanded amount of material specific to that plant. By using this method of learning, visitors will have the opportunity to learn at their own pace and level of involvement.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Education: This project will allow the visitor to access material that otherwise may not be available to the visitor, such as how man uses the plant, how the plant fits into the Plant Kingdom, and information specific to that plant can be accessed.

Please give examples of your project's success.

The Fruit & Spice park contains over 2,000 plants from tropical and subtropical areas around the world. Our plants are labeled and the Park has a beautiful website created by one of our community partners. By using this established website, we can expand our reach to more visitors and provide more information.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Fruit & Spice Park

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5 votes
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Education

Young Women Workshop

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Viernes Culturales will host a 5 hour workshop for underprivileged young women.

We will have speakers from all walks of life who understand these young women and who will have

concrete situations that will impact our attendees.

Our focus is the Little Havana area as we are a staple in the community which is lacking these programs.

Our aim is to guide, sponsor, mentor these young ladies in all walks of their lives.

Who are you?

A cultural hub to Little Havana. A liaison for the artistic community and visitors.To accelerate the transformation of Little Havana’s arts district. To bring people together.To preserve the history of Little Havana via a historic walking tours.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

With the funding we can bring women who have and continue to make an impact in South Florida to empower, guide and mentor the young ladies in our community. We have many agencies that are in dire need of this great program we have in mind for young women to excel in their goals.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Education

Please give examples of your project's success.

Our joint ventures with Connect Familias where we take families to HistoryMiami's Saturdays free museum events. We give symposiums to young artist, musicians in law and marketing.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays Inc

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5 votes
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Education

Bringing Minnesota Magic to the Magic City

Why should kids in Minnesota be more prepared for Kindergarten than kids in Miami-Dade? The Minnesota Reading Corps (MRC) uses the AmeriCorps model to provide trained literacy tutors for children beginning in PreK. It is the largest state AmeriCorps program in the country. We are working with them to launch the Miami-Dade Reading Corps as the first replication in Florida for this innovative and successful program in school... more »
Who are you?

The Center for Social Change is a nonprofit dedicated to cultivating social innovation to achieve meaningful social change with maximum impact. Our dedicated changemakers work in education, entrepreneurship and everything in between.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

A recent report from the Annie Casey Foundation tells us that children who get to fourth grade without learning to read proficiently are on the high school dropout track. The ability to read is critical to a child’s success in school, life-long earning potential and their ability to contribute to the nation’s economy and its security. By providing the MRC model here in Miami-Dade we can intervene early and make a real and measurable difference with a scalable model that has been proven to work.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

We believe that here in Miami-Dade AVERAGE is not an option! The data on reading in the report indicates that Miami-Dade's 4th grade students are reading on par with the average US student, yet our 4th grade reading levels have dropped and the proficiency levels are less than 1/2 of a possible 500 points. We know that a child's ability to read at grade level in the 3rd grade is a predictor of their academic success later in life. MRC assures that they enter school at grade level.

Please give examples of your project's success.

Students who received MRC tutoring achieved significantly higher literacy assessment scores than students who did not. Why is that important? In 2013, 57% of Florida's 3rd grade students received a passing score on the reading FCAT test. In Miami-Dade, 56% passed. In the schools contained in the Educational Transformation Office (ETO), less than 30% of the 3rd graders received a passing score. MRC students achieved an 80% pass rate on the statewide 3rd grade reading test in the evaluation year.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Center for Social Change

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15 votes
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Education

Alfalit International

A simple method to teach reading, writing and basic math to illiterate adults in a short amount of time.

Who are you?

Alfalit is a non-profit, faith based organization engaged in literacy, basic and preschool education. We work with all faiths and partner with organizations in 24 countries and in Miami, Florida.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

The method we employ allows adults to learn to read and write in a short amount of time. It also allows the students to become independent and develop reading comprehension through complementary booklets that cover a wide range of interesting, informative and practical topics. Literacy empowers students to explore new ideas.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

With education - reading and writing and basic math skills, students can improve the quality of their lives and those of their children.

Please give examples of your project's success.

A 49 year old woman learned how to write her name and read common words. Now she is a leader in her community.(Liberia)

A man working at a farm in Miami completed the Alfalit program and wrote and read his speech to the Alfalit audience in September 2014.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Alfalit International

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7 votes
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Education

Countdown to the Classroom - Education of Tomorrow, Today

Countdown Institute is a Miami-based education startup using context based learning to teach computer science and programming. We use real life examples in the context of space exploration to teach these principles.

One of our founders, Ajit Jaokar, teaches machine learning and IoT at Oxford University in UK. Ajit recently worked with 400 computer science teachers to develop curriculum changes in Europe. Countdown Institute's... more »
Who are you?

Countdown Institute teaches computer science and coding using context-based learning. We offer experiential learning opportunities for kids age 10-18.
Our first program, Code in Space uses the context of space exploration using an ArduSat satellite.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Our educational approach is two-fold. First, we use the context-based learning approach shown to be effective for science curriculum. Second, we are developing Countdown to the Classroom to not only bring the educational approach to our students, we are training the teachers as we do so.

The course will be taught by our faculty with the teacher shadowing and assisting in the process. Our teaching the teacher method is our lasting community benefit.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Our Miami Report reveals the following needs:
- Effective teachers most important factor in furthering student achievement,
- M-D County has a high rate of qualified teachers, but lower than US, and
- Availability of instructional resources an important contributor to quality of school.

We address by:
- Context based curriculum based on space exploration,
- Use of affordable open source platforms, and
- Integrated teacher training into our curriculum to have a long lasting impact.

Please give examples of your project's success.

Our first parent response to our program was that this experience was why they moved to Miami. While not all of our citizens have the ability to choose where to live, we all benefit by retaining and attracting talented parents in Miami. Most important of all, we raise the educational standards for all in Miami by improving our schools.

One founder leads efforts to transform computer science curriculum in Europe. Countdown is a Miami startup expanding in Florida and to UK and Dubai in 2015.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Countdown Institute

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15 votes
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Education

Engaging Miami Students: Opportunities in Health & Environment

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In collaboration with the University of Miami (UM) and other partners, this project affords Miami-based students the opportunity to complement their academic training with real-world opportunities in population, health and environment (PHE) issues. The project will advance talent, opportunity and engagement by:
- pioneering the first PHE integrated program of its kind in the country and leveraging it to directly serve... more »
Who are you?

The Center for Environment & Population (CEP) is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to building leadership by linking students with real-world civic, professional & research opportunities, & to give back to their Greater Miami communities.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

This project strengthens Miami-based students education & links to civic engagement, environment & health. Miami-based students will be able to link their academics with practical skills & real-world opportunities that build on their studies. They will have access to experts, civic leaders & professionals; paid internships/jobs in Miami; interactive learning webinars; youth leadership forums; a Miami-based student conference; do research; produce online materials & create social media forums.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

This project provides an opportunity for Miami-based students to apply academic skills, knowledge & expertise on 3 data points:education (academic achievement,real world opportunities);civic engagement (volunteering & paid employment); environment (air, water, transport, sea level rise). Academic achievement will be strengthened & linkages made with students & community.This project will act as a magnet for UM & Miami-Dade area to attract students & retain college graduates with opportunities.

Please give examples of your project's success.

CEP & UM have worked together to integrate UM's academic focus with civic & professional engagement on population, health & the environment (PHE).We would like to make a strong link with Greater Miami so students & community can benefit from their skills and expertise.We've held on-campus forums & workshops, helping UM students & graduates make the links between their studies and the outside world. This project will allow us to formalize all of this material and activities.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Center for Environment and Population (CEP)

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8 votes
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