The Florida Caribbean Students Association (FCSA) recently concluded its 36th Conference in Tampa, Florida at the University of South Florida. The Conference welcomed over 600 students of Caribbean descent from Florida colleges and universities. A number of colleges from the neighboring State of Georgia were also in attendance. The Conference included a series of professional and cultural workshops with leading professors as moderators from the University of South Florida, a talent show, an awards banquet and other cultural activities.
At the Conference delegates meeting, members elected following student leaders as the incoming Executive Board for the school year 2010-2011, along with their country of heritage and current school:
Neal Bailey, President (Anguilla; Florida Memorial University);
Aeryel Williams, Vice President (Virgin Islands; University of Central Florida);
Sade Murray, Secretary (Jamaica; University of South Florida);
Neil Dalley, Treasurer (Jamaica, University of Florida);
Rommel Beckles, Public Relations Officer (Barbados, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)
Yolanda Lawrence, District 2 Director (Jamaica, University of Florida)
Nattacha Wyllie, District 3 Director (Haiti, Seminole State College)
Natalie Russell, District 6 Director (Jamaica, Miami-Dade College, North Campus)
The following Association awards were also bestowed:
University of Central Florida CSA for winning the talent show AND FCSA Member Organization of the Year;
University of Miami CSA for being awarded the Excellence in Community Service Award;
Tropical Beat- Miami Dade College North, for being recognized for most innovative programming and school spirit;
Member of the Year – Sunshine Williams; and
Ms. Nerlyn Jean of FAMU, Ms. FCSA
“The Conference was a positive and extraordinary cultural shock to our vibrant collegiate experience. We enjoyed the full breadth our time together in professional development workshops, intellectual debates, and cultural exchanges. The spirit of FCSA was live and direct,” noted Kerri-Jo McLean, Conference Chair, University of South Florida.
“We achieved what we set out to achieve. As I looked around over the weekend, I saw Haitians, Jamaicans, Trinidadians, and Americans dancing and sharing together. I saw students from universities and colleges throughout South Florida, Central Florida, North Florida, Georgia, putting their minds together to come up with solutions that can ameliorate the negative issues facing our region. As President, I feel our mission for this weekend was achieved every single time one of our participants made a new friend, or shook hands with a dignitary, or danced with a stranger from a different school and country. We set out to ensure that a network of passionate young Caribbean people committed to insight, progress and change was formed. As the great Dr. Eric Williams once said in another context, we have the great responsibility of educating our parents, of teaching them to live together in harmony. The future of our region depends on this network, and I am extremely proud to say that I, as a part of this Association, was a part of forming it. United we stand.” stated Keisha Baisden, outgoing president of FCSA.
Corporate sponsors of the 36th Annual Conference included, Grace Kennedy, Roy James Insurance & Financial Services, INTO University of South Florida, North Star Bank, Western Union/Grace Remittance Services, Victoria Mutual Building Society, Caribbean Airlines, Jerk Hut, among others. The next scheduled FCSA Conference will be hosted at the University of Florida in spring 2011.
The Florida Caribbean Students Association, Inc (FCSA), the premier student network of over 30 different organizations for students of Caribbean descent at colleges and universities across Florida. FCSA is a non-profit organization 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. FCSA was established since 1991 and so far has brought together numerous students and alumni.