The Edit by Brett Graff

SocialMiami's editor reports this week on giving back, big-time.

S.T.E.A.M. Scholarships for Girl Scout Leaders

Ana VeigaMilton, president of the José Milton Foundation, presents a $2500 scholarship to Girl Scout of Tropical Florida, Alexis Idun-Ogde

Ana VeigaMilton, president of the José Milton Foundation and a Girl Scout of Tropical Florida alum, presented a $2500 scholarship to high school junior Alexis Idun-Ogde’s, a high school junior who plans to study marine science. It’s the third year the José Milton Foundation Advancing Women in STEM Scholarship presented funds to a Gold Award Girl Scout, which is the organization’s highest honor and presented to high school students who are inspiring leaders having completed projects impacting the worlds of STEM, education, social and cultural dilemmas, and more on local, national and global levels. This year, 22 Miami-Dade and Florida Keys Girls earned the award this year, spending a combined 2,781 hours working on issues such as helping women experiencing homelessness to newborn babies in need of extra TLC in the hospital, to advancing opportunities for minority women in STEM careers.

Idun-Ogde’s project “S.T.E.A.M With Girls That Look Like Us” aims to increase minority women represented in S.T.E.A.M’s growing field of professions. Upon learning that the percentage of minority women in S.T.E.A.M jobs is 8 percent for Hispanic women and 9 percnet for Black women, Alexis tackled this head on. She worked to teach girls soft skills for these fields as well as techniques to combat unfair practices in male dominated fields by presenting and bringing speakers to address girls in STEAM clubs at American High School as well as at Girl Scout troop meetings.

The award was presented at the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida’s High Awards Ceremony and GSTF Centennial Celebration, Girl Power! at HistoryMiami Museum’s theater. Dr. Malou C. Harrison, Executive Vice President and Provost of MDC, spoke at the event. Dr. Harrison was herself a Girl Scout in Jamaica and credits her participation in scouting for the accomplished and impressive person she is today.

“It was a magical day,” says VeigaMilton, “to see the girl scouts get recognition for their service projects.”

Custom Car Auction to Benefit Kristi House

Kristi House board president Alan Potamkin is donating a 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 – a limited production vehicle with the first-ever 1,000-plus horsepower production HEMI engine and many customizable options including the exterior color – to be auctioned by Barrett-Jackson during its Las Vegas Auction next week, June 22-24. One hundred percent of the cars price will benefit Kristi House, which is dedicated to eradicating child abuse and child sex trafficking by working nationally on solutions and locally to heal child-victims. The nonprofit provides an integrated solution for families navigating the complex services involved in the healing process and is responsible for coordinating child-victims’ legal, medical and social service needs while operating the only Children’s Advocacy Center in Miami-Dade County.

“I am deeply grateful to Barrett-Jackson for working with me to make this happen for Kristi House,” Potamkin said. “Kristi House is dedicated to healing child victims while also fighting to bring the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice in coordination with local police, the State Attorney and the court system. As primary therapist and case coordinator for 2,000 cases annually, all services are done at no cost to the families. Along with an amazing vehicle, the buyer will have the immense satisfaction of knowing they are helping to eradicate a scourge in our society that forever robs children of their innocence.”

To purchase advance tickets to the event, click here.

Rita Case Donates CPR Training Kits to Broward County Schools

Seminole Middle School Principal Emily Gonzalez; Rita Case, Raquel Case Travaline, Ryan Case

Rita Case, president and CEO of Rick Case Automotive Group, donated newly upgraded CPR in Schools Training Kits™ from the American Heart Association to two Broward County Schools. The $50,000 donation is part of the Rick Case Automotive Group’s multi-year financial commitment to the American Heart Association.

Case, with children Raquel Case Travaline and Ryan Case, delivered the kit to Seminole Middle School in Plantation and participated in the training session. Whiddon-Rogers Education Center in Fort Lauderdale also received a kit. 

The kits will be used by the two schools to teach lifesaving CPR skills and automated external defibrillator familiarization, as well as how to provide choking relief. During a training session at Seminole Middle School, students practiced on a Mini Anne® Plus manikin.

“It was incredible to see the students so eager and willing to learn,” Case said. “They could one day potentially save a peer, teammate, colleague, friend, relative, teacher or a complete stranger. This method is a research-proven way for students to learn and retain the lifesaving skills of CPR. That’s why it’s so important that we teach them at a young age.” 

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