Tackling health care issues, affecting education, stewarding the environment and fostering social entrepreneurship are among the areas of interest that the new Florida International University (FIU) Leaders in Practice (FLIP) organization boldly aims to advance.
Michelle Joubert, assistant director of advancement and alumni relations in the College of Business Administration, devised the idea after an inspirational experience at Leadership Miami.
“It was so wonderful that I thought, ‘why not replicate the framework here at FIU by tapping into our alumni and student leaders,’” she said.
In cooperation with Johanna Salazar and Gloria Camacho (BS ’05), both social entrepreneurs at Aceneth, LLC, the stage has been set to do some serious work for the local community.
The 23 founding members of FLIP span alumni, current students and high school interns who are passionate about community service. They aim to create a sustainable community service project that can be passed on to future FLIP members.
FLIP members get their very own Flips.
Flip Video manufacturer, Pure Digital Technologies, a company acquired by Cisco Systems in March 2009, offered to sponsor the burgeoning group by providing each member with a brand new Flip Video Ultra. The compact Flip Video cameras will allow the participants to record their experiences throughout the project. A documentary using the final footage will help promote community service awareness and the organization’s outreach.
Inaugural orientation makes for auspicious start.
On October 15, 2009, members had a chance to learn about each other, organize subgroups and set the initial strategy to galvanize the organization. Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam spoke about the importance of community service, commended the team on their civic engagement and leadership initiatives and offered her enthusiastic support.
First session lures distinguished guests.
FLIP’s first session, held on October 18, 2009, consisted of Gloria Romero Roses (BBA ’92), principal, Nexus Consulting, speaking on the need for educational reform in the community; Commissioner Katy Sorenson, enlightening the audience about local environmental problems; Kali Azzi-Huck, operations officer, Africa Human Development Sector, World Bank, imparting her passion for social entrepreneurship; Linda Slote Quick, president, South Florida Hospital & Healthcare Association, highlighting the urgency for healthcare-based community projects; and Harold Alexandra Silva, executive director, Service for Peace, educating listeners on the virtues of public service. The session informed the members about the community’s needs and allowed them to determine their project’s focus.
For its first project—set to launch January 17, 2010—FLIP will host a career fair for underprivileged high school students. It will expose them to a variety of career options and provide guidance on career choices in the hopes of broadening their horizons for future possibilities.
To learn more, and to support FLIP, please visit FLIP’s Facebook fan page.