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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Florida International Student Receives Human Spirit Award from FCST

FIU Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work graduate student, Mr. Luis Natal, was recently awarded the “Human Spirit Award” by the Florida Center for Survivors of Torture during a commemoration of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

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[Photo: Mr. Luis Natal (center)]

“Luis Natal is a Master of Social Work student from FIU who took valuable time from his busy school schedule to volunteer at the FCST. His passion and contribution to the LGBTQ community have made a lifelong impact on our staff and clients,” said FCST program coordinator and FIU alumna, Ms. Sabine Balmir-Derenoncourt, adding, “We appreciate his work as a volunteer and we wish him the best in his future endeavors in his career in the social work field.”

FIU Stempel College’s MSW program focuses on preparing students to find solutions to social problems and change the quality of life and wellbeing of individuals, groups and communities. Dr. Miriam Potocky, a professor at FIU Stempel College said of Mr. Natal, “I believe Luis is a wonderful representative of the School.”

The FCST serves survivors of political and state-sponsored torture living in Tampa Bay and Miami-Dade County. The goals of the program are to increase self-sufficiency and self-efficacy and to support survivors in their healing process. It is one of 31 federally funded torture rehabilitation programs in the United States and is the only center in the state of Florida. FCST is accredited by the International Rehabilitation Council for Victims of Torture and is a proud member of the National Consortium for Torture Treatment Programs.