Helping homeless students at FIU and Fostering Panther Pride

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Miami's Community Newspapers

To the Editor:

The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust’s annual “Point-in-Time” (PIT) census shows the number of homeless individuals and families in Miami-Dade. The total count of homeless individuals in Miami-Dade County is 3,526.

Helping the homeless is something that I hold near and dear to my heart. My name is Steven Michael Marin and I am currently a junior at the Florida International University. Back in my spring semester of my freshman year, I wanted to get involved with the homeless community but didn’t know how to incorporate my school.

I met with the senior vice president of external relations for FIU, Sandra Gonzalez Levy, and she lead me into the perfect direction. She directed me to a program called Fostering Panther Pride. What this program does is give a helping hand to the homeless students of FIU in whatever ways they can.

I would like to give some numbers on what Fostering Panther Pride has been able to do in the last couple of years. In the five years that FPP has been running it has touched the lives of over 425 students. Out of these 425, 117 have graduated from FIU.

Currently there are 193 students in the program. Whether it may be through tuition, food, clothing, or even someone to talk to, FPP is there for my classmates. I’m honored to be a part of this amazing program because it gives my classmates a certain hope that they haven’t had before.

Not only does it give them hope in school, but it gives them hope in life, allowing them to understand that we are there for them no matter what is going on in their life. If you have any questions about how to donate or partake in this campaign you can email me at stevenmarin21@gmail.com or text/call me at 305-915-9256.

Steve Marin

Editor’s note: This was sent prior to the end of classes for the spring semester at FIU.


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