Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: Catholic schools to explain scholarship program

To assure that children from low-income families have more learning options, the Florida Legislature in 2001 created the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program. Under the law, parents can apply for a need-based scholarship that can be applied toward tuition at any Archdiocese of Miami Catholic school, elementary through high school.

Parents interested in Step Up for Students can learn more about the scholarship program by attending a rally at 7 p.m. Wednesday (June 3) at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep, 4949 NE Second Ave.

Under the law, the scholarships are based on financial need, not how well a child does in school. Representatives from several Catholic schools will be at the rally to answer questions and assist with the application process.

A scholarship to help cover private school tuition and fees is worth up to $5,272, and will pay for the following school expenses until all fees are satisfied: tuition, books, registration, transportation, uniforms testing. Books and uniforms must be purchased at the school and not from a third-party vendor.

For more information call 305-751-8367 or visit:


Oscar Diaz Jr., director of Performer's Music Institute, invites the community to a voice recital at 7 p.m. Saturday (June 6) at Miami Shores Community Church, 9823 NE Fourth Ave.

The performers will be Katarina Bakas, mezzo-soprano; Vanessa Cardozo, light-lyric soprano; Nicole Hellmund, lyric soprano, and Rosie Herrera, lyric-coloratura soprano.

They will be accompanied by pianists Gregory Szeto and Jared Peroune.

The program will include selections from opera, musical theater, art songs and popular music. Admission is free. For more information, call Diaz at 305-757-7725.


Bellies will be in motion on June 10 when members of the New Neighbors Club of South Dade present Belly Motions, a dance studio specializing in Middle Eastern, Indian and World Dance performers, at their monthly luncheon meeting.

The studio will bring one of their selective team of dance professionals who will demonstrate the art of belly dancing for club members and guests.

According to information from New Neighbors, Belly Motions educates, empowers and motivates their clients through authentic world dance forms designed to provide a fun experience and healthy lifestyle.

The club meets at the Killian Palms Country club, 9950 SW 104th St. Socializing starts at 11 a.m. followed by the meeting and luncheon. RSVP by emailing, or by calling 305-595-0213 by noon Friday (June 5). Lunch is $26 per person.


It is still hard to believe that human trafficking is still going on in our society. Yet every day, young people get caught up in its vicious net.

From 10 a.m. to noon on Friday (June 5) at the Lennar Corporate Center, 730 NW 107th Ave., Suite 100, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) invites the community to an Anti-Human Trafficking program to learn more about this hidden crime.

At the meeting, IRC members will define human trafficking and explain why it is happening at a global and local level. The meeting will also shed light on the methods traffickers use to prey on victims.

If you go, you will also learn what benefits victims are entitled to and what the IRC and its partners are doing locally to help. RSVP because space is limited. Contact Florencia for more information and to make your reservation.


Congratulations to Winston D. Mummings, a Miami photographer who recently was invited by VIDA to become a design collaborator with its California-based, cutting edge fashion enterprise.

Munnings explained that VIDA is a Google Ventures-backed fashion e-Commerce platform that brings together designers and makers from around the world to creat original, inspiring apparel in a socially conscious way.

"Using innovations in technology, VIDA gives designers (like yours truly) the chance to convert their design vision (my photography brand) into products like scarves, tops and dresses," Munnings said. "For every VIDA product made, the company offers literacy programs for the makers of their products in cities like Karachi, Pakistan, for example, and at other locations where makers of their products reside. Singularly, this is what attracted me to the VIDA concept of giving something back to the makers of their products..."

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.