My Work With Breakthrough Miami 

For the last few days, I have been diligently working to get editorial coverage for Breakthrough Miami, an academic enrichment program for promising students from low-income homes in the Miami-Dade County communities. 

I thought I would share my activities with you because I am so proud of what Breakthough Miami has been doing in the world of tech.

The students are participating in a three week summer program, called Project Growlight, at FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) Miami Beach Urban Studios (MBUS) on Lincoln Road, one of the largest art/design-oriented 3D printing centers in the United States. The students work with faculty and students from FIU’s Department of Architecture on design projects similar to those that first-year college students pursue.


David Rifkind, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Students, College of Communication, Architecture + the Arts Florida International University and the Coordinator for Project Growlight, said, “This program introduces the students to digital modeling and 3D printing. They use software applications that allow them to create items in 3D and print them in plastic. Using Makerbot 3D printers, the students made models of kiosks and benches, and full-size cups. They were taught to think creatively and develop critical problem solving skills.”

Project Growlight, was created by Elissa Vanaver, CEO, Breakthrough Miami and John Stuart, AIA, Associate Dean for Cultural and Community Engagement, FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts and Executive Director, Miami Beach Urban Studios.

 Breakthrough Miami is 25 years old this year and nearly 1,300 middle and high-school students benefit from the school-year and summer programs the organization runs across the county. Saturday and summer programs operate year-round on the campuses of Ransom Everglades, Miami Country Day, Palmer Trinity, Carrollton and Gulliver and the University of Miami

The pilot for Project Growlight has been funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, with matching funds from Philanthropy Miami.

I will let you know my progress.

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