Many students face daunting challenges when entering college. Academic difficulties, financial problems, major and career choices, just to name a few. Some students face additional challenges that require customized learning services and personalized attention. FIU’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) helps students with special needs access the guidance and services they need to succeed.
DRC serves more than 3,600 FIU students and works with community stakeholders, students, faculty and administrators to create accessible, usable, inclusive, sustainable and diverse We strive to foster student success by facilitating a learning environment. Private philanthropy is essential for the DRC to provide these services. The Johnson Scholarship Foundation is one of the leading organizations that has helped the center expand its services and reach more students across campus.
Robert A. Krause, CEO of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, said: “FIU is one of the leading institutions on the road to ensuring accessibility.”
The Johnson Scholarship Foundation has contributed approximately $2.2 million to FIU over the past decade, providing approximately 1,200 scholarships to 650 students. The foundation also offers scholarships to students with disabilities at all other colleges in the Florida State University system. According to DRC Director Amanda Niguidula, “The Johnson Scholarship Foundation opens countless doors for hardworking students associated with the DRC.”
Christie England, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs for the Florida State University System, added: We appreciate the community support our institution receives. This allows us to achieve better results and have a long-term impact on our students. “
Renowned community leader and philanthropist who has made a national impact on disability awareness, Marc Buoniconti, recently established a new foundation to support students. This fund enables eligible her FIU learners to graduate on time and find their desired career. Founder of the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center, her Buoniconti is a national leader in promoting aid to cure paralysis. “My passion is to give hope to the countless students who have the will and drive to succeed but lack the financial resources to cover their costs,” he said.
Analia Camarda, a deaf FIU Junior Cyber Security major, is just one of many students receiving support from the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. Overcoming a special learning disability during the COVID-19 pandemic, Camarda is able to keep up with class using a sign language interpreter, live her captioning computer app, and the assistance of a professional note-maker. I made it.
With a passion for networking with colleagues and having participated in multiple tech-based internships including Microsoft and SentinelOne, Kamalda is well on his way to fulfilling his dream of working for a major technology company. She is also active on campus, participating in student organizations such as Women in Cyber security and She Upsilon Pi Epsilon, and is an inductee of multiple honorary societies.
Jr. Roger Vendana credits the Johnson Scholarship with allowing him to focus on his studies and pursue his passion for working with animals by participating in a summer biology program at the Miami Zoo. “The scholarship has allowed me to focus on school without worrying about work,” says Vendana.
He said the DRC is a great support system that connects him to support campus-wide networks such as peer mentorship programs.
“Generous donors like the Johnson Foundation and Marc Buoniconti provide important resources to ensure the success of all FIU students,” said Niguidula. “As a result, we are grateful for their support of our students and the DRC, enabling them to live better and more meaningful lives.”
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