PMBA-Panama group reaches out to needy children for first, but not last, time.

Students in the first offering of Florida International University’s (FIU) Professional MBA-Panama (PMBA-Panama) periodically discussed a project to demonstrate their sense of social responsibility. However, bringing that idea to fruition always seemed to run into time or logistical obstacles.

Not last December. With a goal to make the holiday season happier for kids, the group explored several options, discovering an opportunity to donate tickets to a children’s play. Norma M. Salguera Davis volunteered to scout out an organization that would accept the contribution.

Back row from left to right: Juan Carlos Urdaneta, Norma M. Salguera Davis, Carlos Gonzalez and Yvonne Kilborn; front row Vivianne Cedeno

“I got a referral for Aldeas Infantiles S.O.S., which rescues raped, abandoned or homeless children, or those whose parents are in jail,” she said. “The group provides them a long-term family attention model and exists in 132 countries including Panama, where more than 800 children receive care.”

Short- and long-term generosity expands.

Initially the group planned to divide the $1,000 cost of the tickets among class members but Vasiliki Sechopulous decided to involve FIU and Quality Leadership University (QLU), in whose facility in Panama City the program takes place. That effort prompted donations from College of Business Administration faculty, deans and the program administrator. QLU also donated and the students made up the difference.

Three PMBA-Panama students presented the tickets at the main offices of Aldeas Infantiles S.O.S. From left to right: Raphael Evans; Linda Harris, then corporate assistant of Aldeas Infantiles S.O.S.; Norma M. Salguera Davis; and Vasiliki Sechopulous

At the main offices of Aldeas Infantiles S.O.S., class members presented 190 tickets for a musical called Chiquilinga, written for children by Panamanian Rogelio Sinan.

Panamanian Rogelio Sinan wrote Chiquilinga for children.
Many scenes of the play Chiquilinga were interactive with the audience.

Now that the students have succeeded in an outreach effort, they want to ensure it becomes a tradition.

“We are going to set up a meeting with the second PMBA-Panama group to explain to them the importance of sharing as a thank you for completing the degree and the importance of leaving a legacy,” Davis said. “We have talked to Aldeas Infantiles and they gave us a list of their main needs, which we will pass along.”

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