My fiancé and I hardly ever go out. 9pm on a Friday? Time to order pizza and watch Netflix.
But this weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a really awesome event…
The FIU Torch Awards.
It was a chance for me to get all dressed up and support a cause that means a lot to me.
See…we clean up nicely.
I got to go support my college, Florida International University.
Every year, FIU hosts their Annual Torch Awards ceremony, where distinguished alumni are recognized for their amazing contributions to the community and for their overall professional achievements.
This year, the theme for the event was “From the Ground Up.” Because literally, the school’s been built from the ground up. FIU started as a small airport. Today, it’s an impressive and growing university, and it’s also a very permanent fixture in the community.
The alumni and faculty that are selected as Torch Awards recipients represent the university’s finest – because really, they’re doing awesome awesome things in life. For that reason, they’re seen as our “torchbearers” – those who inspire us to meet our fullest potential each and every day.
I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to attend this event. Not only does FIU know how to throw a good party…
But it’s also nice to know that the money raised from this event helps fund FIU’s First Generation Scholarship Fund. Yea, there are tons of scholarship funds out there, but this one in particular means a lot to me because this scholarship supports our FIU students who are the first in their families to receive a college degree.
Sadly, so many students grow up with the understanding that they’ll never go to college.
They simply can’t afford it.
They want big things from life, but it’s just not a reality for them because of money issues.
The FIU First Generation Scholarship changes that for these students and it gives me goosebumps thinking about it.
It’s because of people who give back to the community…it’s because of their generosity…that the dreams of these students are realized.
To date, FIU has awarded more than $5.5 million in financial support to nearly 7,640 FIU students.
Dude…go Panthers! That makes my heart so happy.
So yes, hanging out at the Torch Awards really made my weekend. I got to support a great cause, and also…the food was delicious (shoutout to the Fountainebleau Hotel)!
So in case you’re curious, here’s a list of this year’s Torch Awards Recipients:
- Marcia L. Martinez Strait ’77, chief executive officer, Strait Tutoring Services College of Education
- Miguel Cerra ’95, executive vice president, Link Construction Group College of Engineering and Computing
- Alexis Mantecon ’00, managing partner, MV Real Estate Holdings, LLC The Honors College
- Ed Mugnani ’91, president, Western Division of Eurest-Compass Group Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
- Robert Scavone Jr., J.D. ’12, judicial law clerk, United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit College of Law
- Diane Ramy Faulconer ’74, former executive consultant, Ernst & Young/Former Owner, Diane Ramy Faulconer Management Consulting Services, Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences
- Belkys Nerey ’89, anchor, WSVN 7 NEWS School of Journalism and Mass Communication
- Thomas B. Jelke, Ph.D. ’90, president, T. Jelke Solutions Division of Student Affairs
- OUTSTANDING FACULTY AWARD: Dr. Laird H. Kramer
- COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD: Alex Rodriguez-Roig
- CHARLES E. PERRY YOUNG ALUMNI VISIONARY AWARD: G. C. Murray, Jr. Esq.
- ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR: Humberto Cabanas
And in case you need more information about FIU’s awesome alumni (like me!) here’s a helpful infographic.