Knight Foundation Renews $250,000 Support for Displaced Puerto Rican Students Studying at Miami Dade College

The gift was announced during I AM MDC Day, which celebrates the College’s founding Sept. 6, 1960 and raises funds for students and programs.

Miami, Sept. 5, 2018Miami Dade College (MDC) has been awarded a second gift of $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to continue supporting displaced Puerto Rican students after Hurricane Maria. The gift benefits tomorrow’s Miami Dade College day of giving and school pride, I AM MDC Day.

Knight Foundation first supported MDC’s hurricane assistance program last year with a $250,000 gift.

These funds helped MDC cover the full cost of tuition and course fees for students displaced by the hurricane, in addition to offering $250 vouchers for every three credits enrolled. To date, the program has helped more than 150 students.

This year’s renewal gift will help Puerto Rican students continue their coursework without interruption at MDC, while easing the burden on families in recovery. It assists students with tuition, living expenses and other costs associated with emergency relocation after Hurricane Maria.

“The people of Puerto Rico are our neighbors, family and friends,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of the Miami-based Knight Foundation. “They are part of Miami’s broader ecosystem, both personal and economic, and their success is tied to our own. Helping Puerto Rican students continue their education without interruption is a way of investing in the future of the island and the community.”

“We’re grateful for the continued support from Knight Foundation for Puerto Rican students who are studying at MDC,” added Mark Cole, vice president of advancement and executive director of Miami Dade College Foundation. “In spite of the devastating hurricane and ongoing situation in Puerto Rico, this philanthropic support will ensure these displaced students can continue to make MDC home so they can pursue their dreams.”

Through MDC’s hurricane assistance program, advisors at each of MDC’s eight campuses have also guided students through the enrollment process and offered counseling as needed.

For more information about the hurricane assistance program, visit

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit

 About Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College is the nation’s largest, campus-based institution of higher education with an undergraduate enrollment of 165,000 students. It is also the nation’s top producer of Associate in Arts and Science degrees and awards more degrees to minorities than any other college or university in the country. The college’s eight campuses offer more than 300 distinct degree pathways including several baccalaureate degrees in biological sciences, engineering, data analytics, information systems technology, education, public safety, supervision and management, nursing, physician assistant studies, film and others.  MDC is the recipient of top national awards. As Democracy’s College, MDC changes lives through accessible, high quality-teaching and learning experiences.  It houses the Miami Culinary Institute, the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex, the Miami Fashion Institute, the Eig-Watson School of Aviation, the Idea Center, the School for Advanced Studies, the New World School of the Arts, to name a few.  MDC has been named among the nation’s “Great Colleges to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education.  The College embraces its responsibility to serve as an economic, cultural, and civic leader for the advancement of our diverse global community. Its alumni and employees contribute more than $6 billion annually to the local economy, and MDC graduates occupy top leadership positions in every major industry.   MDC is renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is home of the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, the MDC Live! Performing Arts Series, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, the Tower Theater, Dyer Building, Koubek Center Mansion and Gardens, the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, a sculpture park and a large art gallery system.  MDC has admitted more than 2,000,000 students and counting, since it opened its doors in 1960. For more information, visit

Knight Foundation media contact: Anusha Alikhan, 305-908-2646,

MDC Foundation contact: Alyssa Zamora, 305-237-3331 or