MIAMI — Two Jamaican nationals have been elected to head the largest body representing Caribbean American students in Florida.
Danika Russell was chosen as the new president of the Florida Caribbean Students Association (FSCA) at the organisation’s 37th annual conference held at the University of Florida campus last weekend, while Courtney J. Greene will serve as vice president of the 3,600-member student body.
Miss Russell, who is a graduate of Immaculate High School in Kingston, is pursuing graduate studies in bio-chemistry at Miami Dade College, while Mr. Greene is a finance major at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
More than 800 students attended the three-day conference, which ended on Sunday April 3. Under the theme: ‘Inform, Inspire and Impact: Enhancing the Beauty of the Caribbean’, the event provided an opportunity for networking and interaction with alumni and professional bodies as well as discussions about local and regional issues.
The Caribbean consular corps in Florida was on hand to provide information about consular and immigration matters, and tuition and student services offered. Among those in attendance were Consuls General of Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, Sandra Grant Griffiths and Dr. Anil Ramnanan, respectively.
Caribbean student groups from as far away was New York, were invited to participate in this year’s event.
Miss Russell told JIS News that the conference was a success, noting that the students shared knowledge about how they could help to impact their countries of descent. “Persons were inspired and passionate and felt aligned to the Caribbean region,” she said.
Miss Russell, who has been a member of FSCA since enrolling at Miami Dade College, previously served as District Six Director with responsibility for Barry University, Miami Dade, University of Miami, Florida International University, Florida Memorial College and St. Thomas University.
She articulated that she would use her new position to increase awareness about the region through cultural and political engagements, and also work to develop strong, positive student leaders.
Mr. Greene echoed the positive sentiments about the weekend conference, which he said, demonstrated the strong leadership qualities of the Caribbean students. He said he was excited to make a positive contribution to the FCSA.
Jamaica’s Diaspora Advisory Representative to the Southern United States, Marlon Hill, who was one of the delegates attending the three-day conference, said that the FCSA, which has a “noticeably large percentage of students of Jamaican descent, is an obvious grooming ground for our next generation of business, civic and professional leaders”.
He noted that Jamaicans have populated tertiary institutions across the US with some of the most talented students, who have gone on to become well regarded professionals in various fields, and have contributed to the building of the communities where they reside and also the development of Jamaica.
Established in 1991, the FCSA is the premier Caribbean student network of over 30 different organisations at colleges and universities across Florida. It is a non-profit organisation committed to the development of strong student leaders, the promotion of academic excellence and the enhancement of cultural and political awareness among Caribbean college students.
By CHERYL WYNTER, JIS Reporter