Academy of Finance students receive iPads for winning essays.

Winning essays netted four high school students from Miami-Dade County Public Schools a new iPad mini, presented to them at a reception at the College of Business at Florida International University (FIU) on March 11, 2014.

The students were among nearly 600 participants from the Academy of Finance program, part of the National Academy Foundation, who spent a day late last year visiting the college in a program presented by the State Farm Financial Literacy Lab. Students were asked to write an essay describing their impressions of the business school and campus life during the “I am C2 – College and Career Ready” events, and four students’ essays were selected as the best.

FIU Business Dean David R. Klock presented the iPads to:

  • Giancarlo Dominguez, Hialeah Gardens High School
  • Rachel Holtzman, Coral Reef Senior High School
  • Yulissa Reyes, Booker T. Washington Senior High School (represented by her mother, Maria Elena Jimenez)
  • Kriss Reyes, Booker T. Washington Senior High School

“I’m so proud of these students. We at FIU Business have been honored to welcome the students from the Academy of Finance and give them a taste of what life in our college is all about,” Klock said. “We want to help them take the first step toward great careers.”

Students attended the reception with their parents as well as the lead teachers from their schools.

Millie Fornell, chief of staff for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, praised the students’ work. She told the group that her daughter earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Accounting from FIU’s College of Business.

“I cannot say enough about the quality of education she received,” Fornell said.

Also congratulating the students were, from Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Dr. Lupe Ferran Diaz, executive director in the Department of Career and Technical Education, and Robert Quinn, educational specialist; also, event organizers from FIU’s State Farm Financial Literacy Lab: Flavio Carrillo, faculty director, and Katherine Grau, lab manager.

Students show promise, receive encouragement.  

Grau noted the high quality of the students’ writing.

“You should be very proud of your work,” she told the winners.

The stories of perseverance that the speakers shared with the students had an impact.

“What impressed me the most was the message to never give up and to follow your dreams,” said Holtzman.

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