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Florida Keys college to welcome displaced Bahamian students

Hurricane Dorian demolishes Abaco Island neighborhood

Abaco Island resident records damage of neighborhood caused by Hurricane Dorian on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019.
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Abaco Island resident records damage of neighborhood caused by Hurricane Dorian on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019.

The only college in the Florida Keys will accept students from the Bahamas who are displaced due to the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, which ravaged the islands as a Category 5 storm.

Students already enrolled or planning to attend the University of The Bahamas are welcome to attend the College of the Florida Keys, located on Stock Island.

The college will waive out-of-state fees. At the associate degree level, in-state tuition is $109.22 per credit while out-of-state tuition is $438.73 per credit.

At the bachelor’s degree level, in-state tuition is $128.50 and out-of-state tuition is $592.60 per credit. A full-time student takes 30 credits a year.

The college Wednesday also asked the community for an array of donations.

“Resources needed include housing, food, clothing, transportation, and living expenses,” the college said in a news release.

“The college pledges to do all it can to provide educational opportunities to Bahamian college students and to connect them with the resources they need to be successful,” said college president Jonathan Gueverra.

Gueverra and his wife, Josephine, plan to welcome at least one of the Dorian survivors into their home, which was recently restored after being severely damaged in Hurricane Irma, which struck the Keys on Sept. 10, 2017.

“As a community of Irma survivors, we can channel our empathy into acts of generosity to help our island neighbors,” said Gueverra.

State Rep. Holly Raschein, R-Key Largo, recalled how people from outside the Keys sent help after Hurricane Irma.

“In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, it is now our turn to pay it forward to our Bahamian neighbors, and I am proud that our very own College of the Florida Keys is providing help to students impacted by this devastating hurricane,” Raschein said.

Gueverra and Raschein came up with the idea together.

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