To establish a link between newly-arrived immigrants and local organizations of aid in order to provide inspiration and concrete connections as they transition into their new home.
To ease the transition of new arrivals into the local community and empower them to succeed.
Debora Gonzalez is a recent graduate of the School for AdvancedStudies, one of the most renowned public high schools in the United States, and received early admission to Harvard’s Class of 2021. As a recent immigrant fromCuba and Mexico, achieving success was an arduous journey. Without knowledge of English or understanding of the local culture, Debora faced the often devastating trials of being an outsider. Debi assures that her journey wouldn’t have been possible without the support and guidance of extraordinary teachers and mentors that went out of their way to help her overcome the many challenges that haunted her and her family. Throughout herleadership in nonprofit and school organizations, Debora has become an active member of thecommunity, and has witnessed promising youth struggle to hold on to hope and lose faith in the veryinstitutions that can open doors of opportunity for them.
She came home ready to expand and solidify her vision. Together with 2016 Bezos Educator Scholar Jeff Dearing, Debi’s AP English Teacher, she gathered a team of highly qualified (immigrant-success stories themselves) from our school’s 5 different campuses and connected them with recent immigrant middle schoolers in each campus’s vicinity. Like her own mentees, these students that we have recruited are now in the process of adapting to their new home in the Miami community. Thanks to the extraordinary ideas of students at SAS, we launched an local ideas festival - FLYi Fest - in collaboration with Miami Dade College and School For Advanced Studies, which showcased the available network of existing educational and support resources, including tutoring, daycare, summer programs, degree revalidation and transportation, for those most in need of help by bringing together leaders of local governmental institutions and civic organizations. The festival was held at the Miami Dade College - Wolfson Campus during 2017 and 2018, but has now transitioned into the FLYi Foundation. Thanks to the ideas of students like Cesare Allocco, Jazmin Baez, Jein Garcia, Ashley Kail, and Carina Landgraf, the organization now serves as an online resource and aid for immigrants from all walks of life adjusting to life in the United States. The FLYi Foundation connects Immigrants to the resources and opportunities they need to find continued success in the their everyday lives in a new country.