- Faith & Family
Last week the Miami Bayside Foundation announced a gift of $203,000 to Florida International University to support access to higher education for City of Miami residents. With state matching funds, the gift will result in a total impact of $353,000. The scholarships will support the establishment of an endowment for students interested in business and entrepreneurship, as well as funds to facilitate access to higher education for first generation students from the city of Miami.
“It’s the epitome of what Miami Bayside Foundation is all about,” said Pamela Weller, senior general manager at Bayside Marketplace. “Actually we collect money through the Bayside Marketplace, 10 percent net distribution is what we give. Last year Bayside Marketplace donated $308,000. The Foundation is designed to advance economic development through the support of minority businesses. The three goals are giving money to businesses in the city of Miami, educational scholarships and educational assistance.”
Founded in 1988, the Miami Bayside Foundation seeks to stimulate economic development in the City of Miami and provide educational opportunities. As part of this mission, their donation will provide talented students within the city the resources needed to pursue their academic and professional goals at FIU.
“We endowed two scholarships with Florida International University,” said Nathan Kurland, education chairman for the Miami Bayside Foundation. “We gave $100,000 to their general endowment fund and $100,000 to their first generation scholarship fund. We focus specifically on minorities because of the vision of the original creator of the Bayside Marketplace. One of the elements for granting the permission to build this place was to provide minority help, particularly in leases for the Bayside Marketplace. This type of program is very important.”
Nearly 50 percent of all undergraduate students at FIU receive financial aid and close to 60 percent of those recipients come from families with an annual household income less than $30,000. More than 7,000 FIU students are the first in their families to attend college. As a recognized minority serving institution, FIU is ranked first in the nation in awarding bachelor’s degrees to minorities. Patrick O’Keefe, FIU’s student body president, says the scholarships make a real difference for students.
“First generation is a major priority of ours and about two years ago student government began its involvement with the first generation scholarship,” O’Keefe said. “This is something that we really prioritize — we have someone within our cabinet that is dedicated to it.”
By Randy Grice