Day of Volunteerism at School in Puerto Rico Provides Life-changing Experience for Berkeley College Student

Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, Ext. 1-5122



Berkeley College

See caption below.

Berkeley College representatives participated in volunteer service projects at Escuela Luis Liorens Torres, a school in the city of Juana Díaz, Puerto Rico, during the annual SOMOS Conference. The SOMOS conference, held in San Juan in November, brought together legislators, educators, business officials and labor leaders from throughout New York State to address rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico, along with issues affecting Latino communities such as education, immigration, healthcare and economic development.


“The SOMOS Conference gave us an opportunity to volunteer and visit with local students and teachers, which was a very rewarding and humbling experience because of the remaining devastation in Puerto Rico,” said Dallas Reed, PhD, Vice President, Berkeley College Student Development and Campus Life. “Berkeley College students also had an opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of Puerto Rico, while learning about advocacy and how to work toward positive change through workshop presentations,” added Dr. Reed.


The Berkeley College group performed fieldwork at Escuela Luis Liorens Torres and for Instituto Nuevo Escuela, a non-profit organization that collaborates with local public schools on providing a child-centered educational approach.


“My experience at SOMOS was life-changing and increased my awareness of all the work that needs to be done to rebuild Puerto Rico,” said Berkeley College student Christina Craig of Brooklyn, NY.


Gbubemi Okotieuro, Vice President, Government Relations, and Berkeley College student Juan Rosado of Manhattan, NY, also attended.  The experience included a visit to Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Salinas Bay, the rich sugar cane industry history of this region, and a cultural reception in the historic Museo de Arroyo Antigua Aduana to learn about the potential for new regional economies as part of Puerto Rico’s future growth.


Conference discussion topics included SOMOS Day of Service—Rebuilding Puerto Rico; Meeting the Needs of Female Heads of Households Post Hurricane Maria; and Creating Equitable Employment Opportunities for Latinos and Under Resourced Communities


Photo Caption (Pictured from left, in Berkeley College tee shirts):  Berkeley College representatives participate in a day of community service at Escuela Luis Liorens Torres, a school in Juana Díaz, Puerto Rico, during the SOMOS Conference held in San Juan in November 2018. Berkeley College student Juan Rosado of Manhattan, NY; Dallas Reed, PhD, Berkeley College Vice President Student Development and Campus Life; and student Christina Craig of Brooklyn, NY, visit with students and teachers at the school.


SOMOS is a leading nonpartisan organization dedicated to serving Latino communities and to making positive and transformative impacts on socioeconomic and civic status of Latinos in New York State and beyond.


A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 7,000 students – including more than 350 international students – in its Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers an MBA in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.


Berkeley College has three New York campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are four campuses – Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For five consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The website address is

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