Blogs

Foundation finds success with summer fellows program

first_img August 15, 2003 Daniel Staesser Assistant Editor Regular News Foundation finds success with summer fellows program Foundation finds success with summer fellows program Assistant EditorSometimes a foundation gives us a feeling of security — that though the harsh winds of life may blow against us from all sides, we will somehow weather the storm, because we know we are being held fast. For some of Florida’s neediest, the poor, the elderly, children, and victims of domestic violence and discrimination, that foundation is being laid.In cooperation with Florida law schools, The Florida Bar Foundation has sponsored the 2003 Summer Fellowships Program at legal aid and legal services programs throughout Florida. With funding provided through the IOTA program and the Florida Lawyers Legal Insurance Corporation, the fellowships, granted to first- and second-year law students, has four main purposes:• Involve the fellowship recipients in high quality civil legal assistance to those in need.• Provide educational experience in representing those in need and in working with individual clients and client groups.• Increase student interest in and awareness of the legal problems of the needy and the challenges and satisfactions of representing them.• Promote pro bono representation of those in need.According to the Foundation’s Camille Stawicki, organizer of the summer fellowships, the program has seen considerable success.“We get the law students accustomed to what they would be doing [as legal aid lawyers],” Stawicki said. “For those fellows who will not become legal aid lawyers, this experience, hopefully, will encourage them to volunteer as pro bono attorneys.”Of the 146 applications received for the fellowships only 23 were offered, of which 21 were filled, including a Florida resident attending an out-of-state school. Sylvia Simmons, of Florida State University, is the recipient of the Terry Russell Fellowship funded by Florida’s legal service program’s Project Directors Association, and served at Florida Legal Services in Tallahassee; Luis Maldonado, of the University of Florida, served his fellowship at Withlacoochee Area Legal Services; and Laura Sterling, of Florida A&M, fellowed at the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association.A returning fellow, Simmons said she loves the structure of the program and what it allows her to be involved with.“You sit in a law library and read up on it, but you don’t really talk to the people whom the law affects,” Simmons said. “But this program gives you that opportunity.”Simmons said she spent time researching, volunteering, and on the “hotline” answering calls from victims of domestic violence and similar circumstances.“Sometimes they just want somebody to talk to; somebody who will listen,” Simmons said. “Sometimes the only reason a victim stays in those dire circumstances and puts up with the violence is because they need the money to raise their children.”With a passion for assisting victims of domestic violence, Simmons also said that the fellowships really come together at “an intersection of social work and the law.”“I’m really touched by the cases that involve child abuse,” she said. “It used to be more of a private issue, and now it’s coming more to the public’s attention.”Though growing up in a very supportive environment, Simmons said she had seen so much violence around her throughout her childhood.“I am very close with my family,” said Simmons. “I know how important that structure is, and when you have someone shake up that structure it is very detrimental to its foundation.”Maldonado agreed, having also grown up around similar societal issues. From LaBelle, Maldonado said, “It hits close to home. I essentially have been helped throughout my life, so I feel it is a responsibility to help.”Taking that responsibility very seriously, Maldonado assisted with community outreach education programs, wrote appellate briefs, interviewed clients, and served as an interpreter in court and administrative proceedings during his fellowship.“It was nice putting skills I learned in law school to actual use,” said Maldonado, who said he did everything from translating advertisements to facilitating health screenings.Maldonado said the fellowship was definitely a learning experience and that “working with legal services serves as a reality check – and our issues become menial when compared to worrying whether or not you are going to have a home.”“I’m not helping someone who hurt their back lifting a box win a $10-million suit; I’m helping someone stay in their apartment and have a roof over their head,” said Sterling, who already has a master’s degree in social work, but felt she could do much more as an attorney.Sterling said she tripped into the legal aid arena in college, when she took a class called “Death and Dying.” She volunteered in a nursing home, applying what she learned in class.“Learning and applying the law are two different things,” said Sterling, who praised the Foundation’s program, saying that it gave students a chance to see things first-hand and realize into what area of law they want to go.Students who are selected for fellowships must be in good standing with their law schools, and are selected on the basis of their experience working in low-income communities, academic achievement, writing skills, and previous contact with and long-term commitment to public service and pro bono work.First-year student recipients are allotted $4,000 and second-year students receive $5,000 for the 11-week fellowships. Whether students receive academic credit for the fellowship is up to their law schools and may affect the amount of the stipend. Each fellowship recipient must attend a two-day training seminar before they start work.Fellowship applications are available after November 1 at Florida law schools or from The Florida Bar Foundation’s Web site at www.flabarfndn.org. For more information about the summer fellows program contact Camille Stawicki at (407) 843-0045, or at cstawicki@flabarfndn.org.last_img read more

Dzeko will not play Matches against Wales and Cyprus?

first_imgCoach of the National team of B&H cannot count on the captain, Edin Dzeko, in the matches against Wales and Cyprus.Two nights ago, Dzeko suffered a knee injury in the match between Roma and Carpi and was replaced at the half-time.As the Italian media claim, together with Keita, Dzeko was subjected to the medical tests that showed the ligament injury in the right knee.After tests, Dzeko came back to the training camp of Roma limping and went to the room for physiotherapy.Roma announced that Dzeko will have to pause for at least three to four weeks and will miss two last qualification matches of B&H against Wales in Zenica on 10th October and Cyprus three days later.(Source: klix.ba/ Photo: krajina.ba)last_img read more

Florida Gov. DeSantis Rolls out $91 Billion State Budget

first_imgThe pay raise will impact more than 101,000 current teachers, according to the governor’s office.“That’s something that will have a really meaningful impact in terms of recruiting and retaining folks,” DeSantis said.There’s an additional $300 million for the Florida Classroom Teacher and Principal Bonus Program, scrapping Florida’s Best and Brightest program.The governor says the back-to-school sales tax and disaster preparedness holidays will remain.DeSantis also called for more $625 million in funding for Everglades restoration, water quality improvements, springs restoration, and to combat the harmful effects of algal blooms and red tide.Florida’s growing opioid epidemic is targeted with more than $54 million in funding and an additional $17 million for new mental health and substance abuse funding.The proposed budget invests $18.2 million to complete two state nursing homes, one in St. Lucie County, DeSantis said.There are also millions for transportation and economic development, hurricane disaster recovery, public safety and elections security. Gov. Ron DeSantis rolled out his proposed $91 billion state budget on Monday and it’s big news for teachers.It includes $603 million to bring the minimum annual salary for all teachers in Florida to $47,500, making Florida second in the nation for teacher salaries, DeSantis said.Florida Gov. DeSantis targets Georgia’s governor with a joke while discussing funding to help clean up the Everglades. https://t.co/CJwuUvvXBu pic.twitter.com/VYSZwj41Yg— WPEC CBS12 News (@CBS12) November 18, 2019last_img read more

The US officially raises the tobacco buying age to 21

first_imgAccording to the US Food and Drug Administration,  under the new bill, it will now be illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product — including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes — to anyone under 21 years of age.So far, a number of states have raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21, including Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.Checkout the full list of cities and towns who also have raised the age according to the nonprofit Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. On December 20, 2019, President Donald Trump signed a new law that will amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raise the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years.Donald Trump made the announcement via Twitter:last_img read more

Florida man dead after being shot with his own gun during home invasion

first_imgThe Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that a suspect has died after he broke into a home and was shot with his own gun.The incident was reported Friday in Bradenton, Florida.The resident told authorities that the now identified suspect, 26-year-old Demetrius Downer, broke into his home and placed a pistol next to his head while he was sleeping.Downer then reportedly began beating the victim with the gun and during the struggle, the victim gained control over the weapon.The victim then shot Downer and ran next door to alert a neighbor to what was happening.When authorities arrived at the scene, they found the gun inside the home and the backdoor of the home opened, however, Downer was nowhere in sight.After canvassing the areas, authorities located Downer’s body on the ground against a condo building near the home.Officials reported that it appears that Downer died due to the single gunshot wound.last_img read more

Judge says mothers confession may be used against Palm Beach County mother accused of dumping baby

first_imgA  judge says that a confession made by 35-year-old Rafaelle Alessandra Carbalho Sousa will be allowed at trial.Sousa is accused of abandoning her newborn baby in a dumpster in suburban Boca Raton last year, a Palm Beach County judge says.Judge Kirk Volker ruled that the confession made will be allowed at trial.The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Sousa told investigators she delivered a baby girl on May 8, 2019, then wrapped the newborn in a plastic bag and put her in a dumpster at an apartment complex near Boca Entrada Blvd.Sousa’s lawyers wanted her confession to PBSO detectives thrown out, arguing that Sousa was not read her Miranda rights properly before speaking with detectives.Prosecutors argued it wasn’t necessary to give Sousa her Miranda rights at the time.Sousa has pleaded not guilty to attempted felony murder and child abuse.last_img read more

Florida brewery puts shelter dogs on beer cans to help them get adopted

first_imgA Florida brewery is raising awareness by putting shelter dogs on beer cans to help them get adopted.Motorworks Brewing in Florida in Bradenton, Florida teamed up with a local shelter and started featuring adoptable dogs on their beer cans in efforts to find the dogs a home.Hans Wohlgefahrt, the Manatee County Animal Service outreach and event specialist says the gesture has been a huge help since the shelter is extremely overcrowded. “It has been a constant problem, being the county’s only open-admission shelter, we take in nearly 15-20 animals every day,” said Wohlgefahrt.Elwonger says all of the proceeds are going to help build a new shelter.Photo Courtesy of Motorworks Brewinglast_img read more

Parents charged with child neglect after leaving 4-month-old alone

first_imgOfficials in Fort Meyers have charged a couple who reportedly left their 4-month-old child in a parked car while they shopped.The incident occurred at the Sam’s Club Plaza at 5100 South Cleveland Avenue Thursday morning.Authorities say they received a call from a concerned citizen about an infant who had been left alone in a vehicle while her parents shopped in the Dollar Store.Officials were able to free the child from the car and have since turned her over to the Department of Children and Families.The infants parents, however, have been charged with child neglect.last_img read more