Dioslyn Oliva | Staff Writer
During spring break, I was selected alongside other students to participate in the Black Student Union’s Fly-In seminar. It was amazing, and I encourage other students to participate in FIU events for life-changing experiences like these.
Fly-Ins are three-day seminars that are in partnership with the Office of Campus Life, occurring every Fall and Spring semester. Depending on the topic or theme of the fly-in, students visit and interact with organizations, offices and leaders that relate to those subject matter.
This Fly-In in particular was themed on public policy and the black student experience. As a Black student in Florida, it can sometimes feel a little alienating, considering the current political climate of Florida.
However, this trip created a sense of hope for me and other participating students that there are people within the Capital who hear our concerns.
We took a tour of the Capital, and we all attended a Black History on the Hill celebration hosted by the US House Office of Diversity and Inclusion, where we heard House Minority leader Representative Hakeem Jefferies give a powerful speech on the topic.
We also visited the Department of Education and visited non-profit organizations while we were there, interacting with officials such as CJ Powell, the Chief of Staff in the Office of Postsecondary Education and leaders from various places like the Urban Institute and the American Association of Colleges and Universities.
Through our interactions with everybody on this trip, we were able to understand and explore education policies and how they’re made as it relates to higher education and minority students. We were also told about various internship opportunities that are available to students in the Capital whether it be in a government or in a coalition.
As one of the fastest-rising universities in the country, it’s no surprise FIU’s presence goes beyond South Florida. FIU’s center in DC offers students a place to learn and engage with leaders in the nation’s capital through fly-in programs and other programs which every student should participate in before graduating.
To add, most of the funding for research projects at FIU is thanks to the efforts of the team in DC.
The office also offers its students and members of the university a hub in DC. It offers its students various services through its Talent Lab as well.
Apart from learning about the varying opportunities outside of FIU, we are also made aware of all the resources and opportunities available to us. The Talent Lab helps FIU students find internships in DC, as well as preparing them for those internships through a DC Ready Online Course, to staying connected with them as they intern over there.
Throughout your student life in FIU, you’ll find so many opportunities to interact and learn first-hand from many people, just like I did in this BSU fly-in seminar. When they’re presented to you, take that chance to go beyond FIU grounds to learn more about your major and yourself.
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