Division of Student Services


Ms. Martha Z. Harris, Administrative Director
Ms. Debra Albo-Steiger, Program Manager
Ms. Carolina Camacho, MSW, Homeless Liaison – South schools
Ms. Ana Knapp, MSW, Homeless Liaison – North schools
Ms. Maira Leon, Community Liaison Specialist
Ms. Herna Bien-Aime, Community Liaison Specialist
Ms. Vicky Checo, Community Liaison Specialist

Students Supporting UP-START

In line with the mission of Project UP-START, staff is partnering with M-DCPS senior high school student, Cristina Cantero, to organize a districtwide homeless awareness campaign in the 2014-2015 school year.  This campaign will continue to collaborate with schools and community in order to open the doors to academic opportunities, removing barriers, and promoting a healthy sense of self for all homeless students.

The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness of the definition of homeless under the McKinney Vento Law so that more eligible students in Miami-Dade are receiving the services they need.

Beginning with approximately thirteen schools during the 2014-2015 school year, lead students at select schools will be hosting drives throughout the academic year. Each school will be responsible for the collection of specific items (i.e. canned foods, new clothing, toiletries) for a given amount of time to be donated primarily to the Project UP-START Shop and secondarily to other local and international shelters, organizations, and/or schools in need.

The M-DCPS student body is the one of the largest and most powerful in the nation and with students serving our communities for a better Miami, this project will be incredibly successful.

Now what?
1. Identify a club or organization in your school that would be willing to take charge of the drives (i.e. Key Club, Student Government, National Honor Society).
2. Contact Project UP-START in M-DCPS Department of Student Services at (305)995-7318/debalbo@dadeschools.net.
3. With a joint effort, we will coordinate a calendar for your school to adhere to, and the kickoff to a great drive begins!



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