FIU inspires future learners


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Students at Somerset Academy recently got a dose of Panther Spirit.

On Jan. 24, 2018 Daniella Quesada’s first grade students were sitting at their desks learning how to add double digits. From down the hall, the students heard muffled cheering. The cheering crept closer and closer, until it was at their door. Roary and the FIU cheerleaders made their way into the classroom and burst into song and dance.

A student’s relatives approached President’s Council member Howard Spiegel during an FIU football tailgate. They told him of Somerset Academy’s College Week and how excited the students would be to meet Roary. Spiegel worked with FIU’s Office of Community Relations to make it happen.

During that week, Somerset Academy teachers decorated their classroom doors in the colors of various colleges and universities. Quesada’s class was assigned FIU – Quesada’s alma mater and where she is currently working on her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, specializing in elementary education.

College Week at Somerset Academy is meant to expose kids to higher education. Quesada taught her students about college readiness and how they can turn their interests and passions into lifelong careers.

After visiting the classroom, Roary and the cheerleaders made their way to the school’s gymnasium and hosted a small pep rally for about 300 students. Students took photos with Roary and the cheerleaders met with Somerset Academy’s newly formed cheerleading team.

“The students were so excited to have the opportunity to meet the mascot of the university they had been talking about all week,” Quesada said. “It’s something we will never forget!”

At the end of College Week, Professor Selcuk Uluagac from the FIU College of Engineering and Computing spoke to students from kindergarten to 5th grade about FIU, cybersecurity and his Cyber-Physical Systems Security Lab.

FIU’s Community Relations team is currently working on future school visits.

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