St. Thomas University faculty and staff officially welcomed 55 students from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Wednesday, Oct. 18. The university kicked off its welcoming celebrations with a lot of laughter, traditional Caribbean foods like Mofongo and arroz con gandules, and a lot of hope for the future.
Shortly after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, St. Thomas University began offering free room and board through the spring 2018 semester for up to 100 college students in Puerto Rico and affected islands who wish to continue their studies.
“Our main objective is to provide affected college students continuity in their education,” said Dr. Irma Becerra, provost of St. Thomas University. “After the devastation they’ve been through, continuing their studies is one way to get back into the routine, and to feel a sense of normalcy.”
One displaced Puerto Rican student, Rosamari Palerm Nadal, who recently arrived at STU, says the university and its faculty and staff have been very accommodating.
“St. Thomas has made my transition so easy,” said Rosamari, a senior majoring in biology. “The professors are helping me catch up and understand the material they have already covered. Words can’t express how thankful I am for everything St. Thomas has done for me and the hard work its staff and faculty have put into seeing me succeed.”
Alongside of the customary scholarships, STU is providing a 50 percent Disaster Relief Scholarships to help alleviate financial burdens through Spring 2018.
Interested students should call the Registrar’s Office at (305) 628-6612 or go to www.stu.edu/support to apply.