CARTA South Florida Media Network New York Bureau interns connected with alumni Panthers of the Florida International University Alumni Association New York network. They gathered this past October to show FIU football their support while getting in the Halloween spirit.
Alongside Cedric Bess, Network President, and Melissa Del Toro, Events Chair, another 20 alumni joined the Gameday Halloween celebration wearing their costumes and ready to cheer on the Panthers to a victory over Middle Tennessee.
The Greater New York Panther Network believes in bringing “the Miami feel” to their events as a way of making local alumni feel as if they are back home. The connections made through their events help alumni build stronger bonds, achieve great things and make every region of the world Panther territory.
“We try to make events that make them feel closer to home,” said Del Toro about their Gameday Halloween celebration. “I feel like that familiar feeling is what they’re looking for and it kind of brings everyone together.”
The NY network is committed to panthers who currently reside in the greater New York area, however, they are also passionate about giving back to their local community. Every year around Thanksgiving, they come together to help The Bowery Mission, a nonprofit organization that serves meals to homeless and hungry New Yorkers, with food prepping and serving.
Some members of the association have participated in the networking events even before moving to New York, such is the case of Daniel Usma, an FIU alumnus who joined the NY Panthers ahead of time.
“The most amazing part is the social aspect of it,” said Usma, “When you move to New York it’s hard to find a group of people to go out with, and explore New York with and whenever you see that there are a lot of FIU alumni you are able to make new friends and start going out beyond the events.”
The NY Panther Network welcomes first-comers as well as long-time Big Apple Panthers at all of their events. Their goal is to grow the FIU family further through events focused on social/professional networking, career development, student recruitment, athletic support, and fundraising and advocacy for FIU.
“Whether you realize it or not, you’ve got a family here in New York that is waiting to welcome you with open paws,” said Bess.
FIU CARTA hopes to see you all cheering on our Panthers at the FIU vs. UM game on November 23rd. Paws up!
Written by: Mariandrea Vergel