Over 400 of Miami's most influential leaders came to support The Foundation for New Education Initiatives, which raises money for the school district's 350,000 students.

Alberto and Maria Carvalho with Trish and Dan Bell

Over 400 of Miami’s most influential business and philanthropic leaders stepped up to the plate once again to help Miami’s underprivileged students transcend homelessness, attend college, bridge the technology gap, and attend cultural events, at the sixth annual For the Love of Learning Gala, benefitting Miami-Dade County Public Schools through the Foundation for New Education Initiatives.

The Gala’s generous donors and sponsors were greeted by Co-Chairs Maria & Alberto M. Carvalho, Superintendent of Schools, and Trish & Dan Bell.  Their successful partnership raises money annually to provide the “extras” that round out the educational experience for the school district’s 350,000 students, many of whom live at or below the poverty line.  Gala funds help support the Cultural Passport program, students’ ticket to the opera, the theater, art museums, concerts and other cultural experiences they may not otherwise be able to access. Some of Miami-Dade’s most deserving public school students receive laptop computers and other technological devices that help them get a leg up on their schoolwork and shine in the eyes of college recruiters, who just might be offering them a scholarship for their higher learning.

Alberto and Maria Carvalho
Laurie Jennings and Michelle Bernstein
Executive Director Ann Pierce Stith with Trish and Dan Bell
Executive Director Ann Pierce Stith with Trish and Dan Bell

The evening kicked off with a cocktail reception where guests were entertained by the Cobra String Quartet from South Miami Senior High School. Later, WPLG Local 10 News Anchor, Louis Aguirre, welcomed guests and introduced the Miami Norland Senior High School Vikings in Harmony, who sang the America the Beautiful.

Aguirre invited guests to join in paying tribute to the entire Miami-Dade County Public Schools Alumni Hall of Fame Class of 2022: Rodney Adkins, Chairman of Avnet, Inc.; Michelle Bernstein, award-winning chef and host of “Check, Please! South Florida”; Dr. Vivek Murthy, 19th and 21st Surgeon General of the United States; George Christian Pedersen, CEO and President of Kimre Clean Air Technology; Armando Christian Perez (Pitbull), American Rapper, Singer, and Songwriter; Maribel Perez Wadsworth, President USA Today Network and Publisher USA Today; Dr. Robert Sackstein, Senior Vice President, Global Medical Affairs, Florida International University. These seven great Miamians were also honored in an induction ceremony earlier in the week.

Brenda Guerro, Suzan McDowell, Radia Turay, Kadisha Phelps, L’Oréal Arscott, Tatiana Laplance
Christi Fraga, Dr. Marta Pérez, Luisa Santos, Alberto M. Carvalho, Dr. Robert Sackstein, Rodney Adkins, Michelle Bernstein, Maribel Perez Wadsworth, George Christian Pedersen
George Pedersen and Granddaughter
Luis Aguirre Sr, Luis Aguirre, Ron Magill, Rita Magill, Ana VeigaMilton
Miami Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Alberto M. Carvalho
Miami Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Alberto M. Carvalho
M DCPS Student performers
Marile and Jorge Luis Lopez, Marta Perez and Lawrence Shapiro
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