kamika pic - kamika barrett_web.jpgScholarships from a Miami-Dade Community Action Agency’s Community Advisory Committee helped Kamika Barrett remain in college.

In 2006, as a second semester freshman at Florida A&M University (FAMU), Barrett was awarded $1,500. She received scholarship awards from the CAC for three consecutive years, in addition to financial assistance from the Fund for Minority Teachers and financial aid.

“My first semester without the scholarship award was difficult and placed a tremendous burden on my family,” Barrett said. “If I had not received the scholarships, I may have considered dropping out or I would have had to work and I believe I would still be in school.”

Barrett graduated in 2010 from FAMU with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.

She has since passed the State of Florida teacher’s exam and is looking forward to beginning her career as an educator.  She would prefer to work with children from kindergarten through the sixth grade “because you have an opportunity to mold them.”

Barrett is currently working with the CAA’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) as an eligibility worker.

“Although I am not currently teaching, I am satisfied with working with LIHEAP because I am helping people,” she said.

Each year, the Community Advisory Committees award scholarships to needy applicants ages 16 to 25 to help them attain their educational goals.

The committees are established through the CAA’s Citizens Participation Unit and its governing board, in keeping with Community Service Block Grant requirements that enable the agency to receive federal funding.

The CAC target areas include Little Havana, Allapattah, Brownsville, Coconut Grove, Culmer, Edison/Little River, Florida City, Goulds, Hialeah, Liberty City, Naranja, Opa-Locka, Perrine, South Beach, South Miami and Wynwood. 

For more information, call 786 469-4600 or visit www.miamidade.gov/caa.