One of our IAMCBOB scholars, Davian, graduated from university on April 27, 2018.
by Christina Mouttet
IAMCBOB provides an all-expenses-paid college education to motivated students who have a strong desire to acquire a higher level of education after graduating high school. The program empowers young leaders to be equipped for success and gives them the opportunity to have a proper college education. IAMCBOB students put forth their best effort in their school work, while also giving back to their communities by participating in civic engagement activities. IAMCBOB students act as both role models and service leaders to their communities.
Read below to find out about one of our scholars, Davian Ortiz, who graduated on April 27, 2018 with a degree in industrial design.
1. Where are you from?
I was born in San Cristobal, a corregimiento of the city of Medellin on January 1, 1994.
2. Describe your family and how you grew up.
I am a humble man from a humble family. I was born and grew up during a time of economic poverty, always wanting to rid myself of certain things that wore me down on a daily basis. I grew up with 3 siblings, 2 out of marriage and one little sister from marriage. We relied on each other in all circumstances. My mom and dad came to the city in search of opportunities for their children and always found ways for us to advance our education. They taught us values and principles to face life in many ways. I am a faithful person, a believer that everything that shapes us as a human being comes from how we were raised and customs. I feel proud of my family and of our struggle to be better every day.
3. What did you study and why?
I studied industrial design. The repair and creation of objects caught my attention since I was really young and I gravitated towards design since it gave me knowledge in that area.
4. How did you hear about CBOB and our IAMCBOB scholarship program?
I found the program one day in my school when my friend Jose Fernando Martinez came to me and asked if I wanted to join a program of higher education from abroad that would teach us a lot. It caught my attention right away and I responded yes. We started in the program called “New Horizons,” directed by Angelica Suarez Trujilo, of which I was with for about two years. Later, this same program gave me the opportunity to go to university, which has now made be a part of the IAMCBOB scholars.
5. What plans do you have for after graduation?
After graduation, I want to continue with my studies and start to make my dream come true of having my own business of industrial design.
6. Tell me an interesting fact about yourself.
One time, someone told me that happiness comes from being a better person every day, and when the sun rises every morning, you should thank God for all your blessings.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
I love to play sports and spend time with the people who are close to me.
By Jennifer Nicholas
Children Beyond Our Borders Inc. hosted its third annual salsa benefit, Dance for Good, last Friday in downtown Gainesville.
Dance for Good all started back in 2016 by Board Members Dr. Brendan Williams and Dr. Diana Montoya-Williams. What began as an event to honor both their wedding anniversary and their passion for giving back to the community, has turned into a CBOB yearly tradition. It annually brings the salsa-loving community together in Gainesville for a great cause- all of the proceeds go straight back to CBOB’s local programs.
There was never a dull moment at this year’s Dance for Good. The night was filled with live music, dancing, delicious food, raffles and a silent auction. As soon as our guests walked in, they were immediately greeted with a variety of popular Latin music played by Elio Piedra, a talented local artist in Gainesville. No one wasted any time getting out on the dance floor and showing off their best dance moves.
With all that dancing, our guests worked up an appetite. Omi’s Elegant Catering was generous enough to donate a variety of delicious food to our event. Our guests couldn’t get enough of the plantains, chicken, rice, coconut shrimp and more!
While taking a break from dancing and eating, guests had a chance to bid on our silent auction items. All of the silent auction items were graciously donated to us by generous individuals and local businesses. Auction items ranged from gift baskets, to gift certificates, to admission tickets and specialized items. Salsa Mundial donated two group class certificates, Zen Vibe Yoga donated an in-home private yoga session, St. George Inn & Suites donated a two-night stay, the Lowry Park Zoo donated two admission tickets, and the Curtis M. Phillips Center for Performing Arts donated tickets to the Nut Cracker, just to name a few!
We have our incredible event manager, Sonia Herrera, to thank for another amazing year of Dance for Good!
“All members of Children Beyond Our Borders worked together to make this event happen, even our members in Orlando,” Sonia said. “I’m super happy with how everything turned out. I think we had a really great turnout and everyone had a lot of fun.”
This event also would not have been possible without our wonderful development director, Valentina Betancur.
When asked about the event Valentina said, “Events in general are usually pretty hectic the day of and a lot of planning needs to go into them prior to the event date, so my development team really had to come together to make sure that the event turned out well. I have to say that it really came together in the end because everything looked amazing! My favorite part of the whole thing was the silent auction because we received a lot of cool donations for this event and it looked really nice when we set it up. Also, the food was absolutely delicious and I think our guests really appreciated it. Another thing that I absolutely loved to see was that everyone was having a really great time. Overall, it was a pretty tiring experience but it came together amazingly and I'm really happy that we were able to raise so much money for our local programs!”
Dance for Good was a huge success thanks to all of our donors, volunteers, and supporters. We could not have made the night such a success without the help from you all. Thank you to our donors who donated all of our amazing auction and raffle items. Thank you to all of our volunteers who donated their time and effort to ensure that the night ran smoothly. Thank you to all our supporters who bought tickets to the event and joined in on all the fun.
We cannot wait to see you all again next year for our fourth annual Dance for Good event!
by Allison Hoyle
I joined CBOB in 2007 after a friend from Sabor Latino, UF’s Latino Dance Team, mentioned it to me. I knew as soon as I met the executive team and the other volunteers it would be a life changing experience, but I had no idea at the time that CBOB would launch my career into non-profit education.
The children, of course, won me over. It was remarkable seeing their excitement and eagerness to come to our workshops every day after a full day of school. They advocated for their learning, and told us how they wanted to learn advanced math and to speak English. I would leave every day with letters and notes from the kids, and head home to prepare the lesson plan for the following day.
But it was really that first taste of teaching that hooked me. I loved the creativity of coming up with a lesson plan that would engage each child in the room in a slightly different way. I thoroughly enjoyed the rush of adrenaline I got from improvising if the lesson didn’t go quite according to plan. It’s electrifying to stand in front of a room of 60 energetic children and matching their energy in order to reach them. When you are finally able to make that connection and they learn something new, it feels amazing.
I joined CBOB because I was looking for community, but I truly learned about myself as an educator and as a leader. I found my way into the classroom after graduation. I started teaching elementary school with Teach For America and teaching in Overtown, Miami. Now I work as a Program Manager at Reading Partners, a national literacy organization that reaches about 1,000 students in New York City, and 11,000 nationally. I get to flex my teaching muscles and work with committed volunteers and educators that inspire me daily.
On the board of CBOB now, I am ecstatic to see how it has grown and increased its impact. It is wonderful hearing about hard-working volunteers going back to Cartagena and Medellin and the complex workshops they develop for the children.
Getting to know who's in charge and what motivates them here at CBOB
by Madelyn Brenner
Keeping track of all that goes on here at Children Beyond Our Borders is not an easy feat. There are meetings to schedule and attend, fundraisers to arrange, trips to plan, and everything in between. Read on to learn more about who keeps our nonprofit on track, and what inspired them to join our CBOB family.
Christina Mouttet, Creative Director
Christina Mouttet is a second-year student at the University of Florida majoring in public relations and minoring in real estate. She first got involved with CBOB last semester as a PR intern and this past semester got promoted to Creative Director. She has absolutely loved her experience with CBOB. Seeing the impact CBOB is making amazes her every day. While she loves the social media and advertising aspect of her job, her favorite part is when she gets to work directly with the kids. Attending workshops, health clinics and weekly tutoring are definite highlights for her.
She is originally from Miami, Florida but moved to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago when she was 15. She came to UF as an exploratory student but eventually decided on public relations because it was the perfect combination of journalism, advertising and marketing. After she graduates, she hopes to attend law school and work in corporate law. She also loves to travel and has been to almost 40 countries!
Julia Lasley, Service Trip Director
Julia chose CBOB because she wanted to explore ways to give
back to her new home in Orlando by using her background in and love for education and international service. She chose CBOB for its dedication to creating opportunities for kids and communities that need it the most. To her, CBOB is a vehicle for empowerment and global change, reminding her of a favorite quote of hers, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." She is originally from Cocoa Beach, Florida. After finishing high school, she attended FSU (Go Noles!) for her B.S. in International
Affairs. She served as a Teach for America Corps Member in
Jacksonville until 2016. This is currently her fourth year teaching middle school English and second year in graduate school at Lehigh University for her Master’s degree in International Education. Her future career goals include teaching abroad and/or working for a nonprofit in the field of international development with an emphasis on girls’ education.
Valentina Betancur, Development Director
Valentina Betancur is completing her third year at the University of Florida and should be graduating Spring term 2019. She is pursuing a dual degree in Economics and International Studies and two minors in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA) and Food and Resource Economics. Her dream is to work for an international development agency in the future such as the World Bank. She started her journey with CBOB in the summer of 2017 as a fundraising intern and she came back for the same position during the fall semester. She was promoted to Development Director during that fall and now she leads four different teams of interns along with Gina Castano. Her duties consist of partnering with organizations in our community, planning various fundraising events, executing major fundraising benefits such as Dance for Good and Gala, and completing a 5-year plan for the organization. Her most important task is to be there for her team and make sure that they have everything that they need to build their skills.
On top of CBOB she also works part time in retail and takes classes full time. On her off time, she likes to play with her puppy Mia (pictured below), go out and eat sushi with her friends, or go to the pool with her roommate if it’s nice out.