President, Founder and CEO of Esperanza, Rev. Luis Cortés, joined over 100 Pennsylvania faith and civic leaders in hosting a community breakfast with the Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló to discuss Puerto Rico disaster relief efforts at Esperanza College of Eastern University on Friday, Feb. 16.
The event was followed by a brief press conference with local latino and non-latino media, including 6abc, CBS Philly, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Telemundo 62, and WHYY. The Governor, who is a graduate from MIT, also toured the facilities of Esperanza Academy Charter School and spoke to a group of high school students about the importance of higher education for their futures.
Esperanza remains committed to assisting those who have had to evacuate Puerto Rico in the wake of hurricane Irma and Maria which ravaged the island over the summer and fall of 2017. Through our Esperanza Housing Counseling department, we have helped find local housing for as many as 30 people who were forced to evacuate to Philadelphia after the storms. Esperanza Cyber Charter School has enrolled 11 students from Puerto Rico who were displaced by the hurricanes. We have also created a bilingual newcomer curriculum in literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies for these incoming students, and hired an additional bilingual teacher for extra support. Additionally, Esperanza College of Eastern University has partnered with several other local organizations to host two pro-bono FEMA legal clinics, helping around 140 families to register with FEMA and submit disaster relief claims. We will continue to provide updates on our efforts to support those displaced by the hurricanes.
Thank you to all who attended and participated in the vibrant discussion about the issues still affecting Puerto Rico. If you’d like to join us in giving hope and opportunities, your donation to Esperanza ensures we continue serving those in great need through our variety of programs. Give hope today.