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Undergraduates Support South Florida Community Organizations

January 30, 2011
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FIRST StepMore than 30 Miami-area community organizations benefitted from the work of undergraduates last fall as partners in the School’s FIRST Step program.  FIRST Step, an acronym for Freshman Integrity, Responsibility and Success through Teamwork, is a mandatory freshman course that connects students with organizations to assist them with meeting the real-world business and other challenges they face.

FIRST Step was designed to anchor the first-semester business curriculum.  Students learn essential business critical thinking skills through real-world case studies, lectures, and multimedia presentations.  A pivotal aspect of the course requires that freshmen cultivate their abilities to work in a team environment. Mentored by an experienced upper-class business student, the freshman cohort engages with a local not-for-profit organization that has presented a particular business challenge that needs to be addressed. Each project is designed to enhance these nonprofit organizations’ abilities to communicate more effectively with their constituents through activities such as branding, social networking, and market research. At the end of the semester the teams present the results of their work to their clients.

Management 100One of the organizations participating in fall 2010 was the South Florida American Cancer Society, which partnered with student teams on several projects. One group of students was charged with creating a marketing strategy for the organization’s upcoming Relay for Life event.

“ACS is a volunteer organization so we cannot do the work that we do without support like this and the work that you all have done,” said Sean Kramer, executive director of the American Cancer Society for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, during the final student presentation.

Organizations Served

American Cancer Society

Hearing and Speech Center of Florida

American Heart Association Greater Southeast Affiliate Miami Office

Informed Families

Darrell Gwynn Foundation

Lowe Art Museum

Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, Miami Dade


Bankruptcy Bar Association

Miami Children's Museum

C.A.R.E. Credit

Zoo Miami

Financial 51

Neat Stuff

Citizen's Crime Watch

Drip Drip

Miami Council for International Visitors

Program for Emotional Problems in Children


Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Shake-A-Leg Miami

Florida Heart Research Institute

Tropical Audubon Society

The American Friends of Jamaica Inc.

Green U

Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida

University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University CARD (Center for Autism & Related Disabilities)

Goodwill Industries of South Florida

United Way of Miami Dade Center for Excellence in Early Education

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UNDERGRADUATE: 305-284-4641