Communication Arts Students help Camillus House Save Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars


One class, five student advocates, and one winning group presentation led to an extraordinary gift to a local non-profit organization.  The financial gift to the IDEAS for Us non-profit was awarded for their project proposal to install solar panels at Camillus House and the work was completed this summer. An energy audit by FPL estimates that the electricity cost savings from the new panels will generate over $350,000 in the next 10 years.  That is money that can be used to better serve the homeless population of Miami for years to come. With the goal of helping the environment and the community, Communication Arts students (Orietta Caula, Joanna Suarez, Chloe Castro, Alejandro Cerice, and Linda Elvir) advocated for their chosen non-profit, IDEAS for Us and the Camillus House project and successfully convinced their classmates and the competition judges to award the $25,000 for the solar energy project. The grant was donated to the philanthropy-themed Advanced Public Speaking Class (SPC 3602) in Fall 2014. Given the green light to begin the project in December 2014, the team at IDEAS for Us, the staff at Camillus House, Advanced Green Technologies (AGT), and Citizen Energy worked with FPL to add the solar panels and retrofit the inside facilities to capture and distribute the power generated. Six months later, Camillus House became a  green building and the savings have begun.

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