Miami Dade College Student Wins Top Service Award in the State
Miami, February 3, 2010 - For the third consecutive year, a Miami Dade College (MDC) student has won Florida Campus Compact’s top service award. In fact, Stephanie Del Pino, from MDC’s Kendall Campus Honors College, is the only student to receive a 2009 Excellence in Service Award in the Community/State College category and who will also receive the President’s Volunteer Service Award this year.
Together with Wolfson Campus Honors College student, Amanda Balareza, Del Pino was the driving force behind the first-ever All-Nighter for Haiti, a college-wide initiative that raised more than $23,000 last year to build tilapia farms and plant fruit trees in Haiti. Del Pino dedicated more than 900 hours toward directing and coordinating the first-ever fundraiser of its kind.
“Stephanie has immersed herself in understanding the stark realities of poverty in Haiti and dedicated herself to making a difference. Through this project, she gained leadership experience. She knows she can do anything and has made a lifetime commitment to service,” said Joshua B. Young, director of the Center for Community Involvement at MDC.
Last year, a week after returning from a study abroad program in Salzburg, Austria, Del Pino attended a community involvement conference at the Kendall Campus. There she met a representative from Food for the Poor who shared the reality of starving children in Haiti.
“The representative described to me stories about children eating clay cookies to quell their hunger,” said Del Pino. “I knew I had to do something.”
Del Pino and Balareza joined forces to organize and raise funds for the All-Nighter for Haiti event, which was held on World Food Day. They also founded Students Aiding International Development (SAID) with a mission to combat poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Del Pino, whose Hispanic heritage includes Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia, is also editor-in-chief of Miambiance, the Kendall Campus’ award-winning student literary magazine. The mass communications major aspires to study film and create documentaries. She hopes the overnight fundraiser becomes a lasting tradition at MDC.
“Right now we are helping the freshmen plan the 2010 All-Nighter for Haiti,” Del Pino added. “I want them to carry on the legacy.”
To learn more about the MDC Center for Community Involvement, please call 305-237-7477.
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, firstname.lastname@example.org, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, email@example.com, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, firstname.lastname@example.org, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, email@example.com