#TransformMiami on leadership, innovation

Giselle Cancio/Staff Writer 

Last week, City Year, SGA and the Center for Leadership and Service came together to present #TransformMiami.

#TransformMiami was a conversation around the nexus between social innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and service. It also covered the unique role that millennials can play as a force multiplier and how solutions can be provided for the post-millennial generation.

“It’s essentially an idea, an idea to discuss how we can all play a part in social innovation, leadership and service with our community,” Liane Sippin, Student Government President at MMC said.

The key note speaker for the evening was Dr. Irma Becerra-Fernandez, who is the Vice President of the FIU Office of Engagement. Her speech covered a quick introduction on the idea and what the different panelists would be speaking about. The panelists were also open for questions from the audience, as they wanted to make it a conversation rather than a lecture.

The five panelists were: Dr. Pablo Ortiz, Tere Blanca, Jaret L. Davis, Vance Aloupis, and Binsen J. Gonzalez. Dr. Ortiz is the Assistant Superintendent of Miami Dade County Public schools and works in the educational transform office. He has been working with Miami Dade County Public schools since the year 2000, and has a Doctorate Of Education from Nova Southeastern University. Blanca is the President and chief executive officer of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, Inc. She has more than 25 years of experience in the South Florida real estate sector, and serves as the chair of the Board of Directors for City Year Miami. Davis is the co-managing shareholder for the Miami office of Greenberg Trauig, LLP. He oversees approximately 160 attorneys and 200 business staff members. He serves on a number of philanthropic and civic boards including The Miami Children’s Initiative and City Year. Aloupis is the State Wide Director of the Children’s Movement of Florida Aventura. He joined the team in 2010 and focuses primarily on building the movement statewide through organizational collaborations, regional strategies, fundraising and building public awareness. Gonzalez is the founder and CEO of Our City Thoughts Inc. This organization aims to give a voice to Miami’s emerging community of startups and entrepreneurs with thought-provoking content. They want to inspire individuals to access, connect and redefine the city.

Throughout the night, the panelists answered a range of questions from how to take on leadership roles and make a difference in the community, to how to build on things that already exist but need to improve.

“This is important Civic Engagement which allows students to inspire, lead and transform spaces to fulfill the mission of keeping students in school and on track to graduation.” Sippin said. “It was also great to hear from Community leaders about what path to take after college and beyond, and more importantly, how to become a vital piece of society.”

Students were reminded to seek for advice and seek mentors to help you throughout your college experience. Now are the years to be a “change agent,” be informed of what’s happening and take a stance to make a difference.

Miami is the smallest big town where there are so many network opportunities that are sometimes overseen.

Liane Sippin – “It reminds us to ask for advice, seek mentors and take on leadership roles within your passion and learn to be a change agent. Not only that, but become a part of our community and more importantly, be an informed Miamian.”

If you would like to learn more about any opportunities, contact city year or the Center for Leadership and Service office on how to get involved in the community.

As Dr. Ortiz said “The education is important and so is the leadership aspect. Education is the cornerstone of democracy, we don’t turn anyone away.”


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