Season of Giving 2017: Berkeley College Provides Disaster Relief to Puerto Rico through SOMOS el Futuro, American Red Cross



Berkeley College Provides Disaster Relief to Puerto Rico
through SOMOS el Futuro, American Red Cross


Berkeley College

In October 2017, Berkeley College donated $5,000 toward hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico, through SOMOS el Futuro, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to addressing the needs of the Hispanic population of New York State. 


In addition, students and associates raised more than $1,800 for those affected by natural disasters in Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas. The amount was matched by the College through the Berkeley Cares® initiative, and in total, the College donated more than $3,600 to the American Red Cross.


Gbubemi Okotieuro, Vice President, Government Relations, New York, said Berkeley College was proud to support the SOMOS efforts for hurricane relief.


“We made our contribution through SOMOS because of our longstanding relationship with the organization and its direct links to community-based organizations in Puerto Rico,” Mr. Okotieuro said.


Each year Berkeley College attends the SOMOS Puerto Rico Conference, which brings together lawmakers and public policy officials on issues such as education, which impact the Hispanic community of New York State. Following the cancellation of the conference, which was originally scheduled to take place from November 8 to 12, 2017, in San Juan, SOMOS held a “Pro-Puerto Rico Dinner” requesting that SOMOS supporters donate the cost of their sponsorships to hurricane relief on the island.


Janelle Giles, Director, Student Development and Campus Life, said she was also impressed with student efforts for disaster relief, which included bake sales, pizza parties and tabling events.


“Berkeley College students and associates stepped in as they always do when there is a need,” Ms. Giles said.

Berkeley College

Photo Caption: (Top) Berkeley College students Rebecca Aguilera of Maumelle, AR (left), and Alexis Gonzalez of Queens, NY (right), meet New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio during the 2016 SOMOS Puerto Rico Conference, held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This year, the College donated $5,000 toward hurricane relief when the conference was cancelled. (Above) Berkeley College students raise funds for disaster relief for Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida. (L to R) are Itaty Vasquez of Paterson, NJ; Anya Polanco of Fair Lawn, NJ; and Yadira Diaz of North Bergen, NJ. (Below) Mr. Gonzalez and Ms. Aguilera pose with New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman at the 2016 SOMOS Puerto Rico Conference.


Berkeley College

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