FFCR Participates in FIU’s Fostering Panther Pride Turkey & Toast Luncheon

Thanksgiving came a little early this year for former foster youth and homeless students participating in Florida International University’s (FIU) Fostering Panther Pride (FPP) program. On November 7th, FIU’s Office of Student Access & Success hosted its annual Turkey & Toast Luncheon in recognition of The FIU Foundation and President’s Council for their generous support. As a community partner, FFCR was invited to share in the celebration and our Training and Engagement Manager, Marissa Leichter, attended the event. Attendees heard inspirational remarks from Superintendent Alberto Carvalho who shared his personal experience with homelessness as a young adult and struggling to afford higher education. Nelson Hincapie, the CEO of Voices for Children Foundation, presented several of the graduating FPP students with scholarships.

FIU’s FPP program offers tailored academic and support services to students identified as formerly in foster care or homeless. Launched in 2013, the primary goal of FPP is to assist former foster care youth and homeless students in their transition to FIU, their retention and graduation, and their pursuit of securing employment or graduate studies upon receiving their bachelor’s degree. FFCR links youth ages 18-21 in the Extended Foster Care Program to these services through their Citizen Review Panel program by recommending court orders ensuring that youth are connected with FPP advisors.

The prospect of attending FIU can be a life-changing opportunity for many of the youth we serve. We are proud to partner with FPP and appreciate the chance to celebrate their accomplishments.

Dr. Sonia Montas-Hunter, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Access & Success, welcomes attendees of the Turkey & Toast Luncheon at FIU on November 7, 2018.

FFCR’s Training and Engagement Manager, Marissa Leichter, with FPP’s Program Director, Ana Ramos, at the Turkey & Toast Luncheon at FIU.

Miami-Dade County Superintendent Alberto Carvalho shares his personal story of homelessness as a teenager and challenges affording higher education.