The Miami Herald Wish Book Program has spotlighted the needs of less fortunate individuals in South Florida for more than 30 years.
Recently, Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Ian A. Moffett visited several Miami-Dade County Public Schools students,
bringing gifts and offering his heartfelt encouragement as they continue their hopes for a brighter future.
One student in particular, 11-year-old Maykel Sosa, stood out as a Wish Book recipient because of the dangerous journey he and his family faced while making their way to the United States in their quest for a better life.
“We came from Matanzas, Cuba, through Ecuador, Colombia and other parts of South America,” says Maykel’s mother, Yadira Rivera. “My son almost fell down a ravine in the Colombian mountains before my husband grabbed his jacket and pulled him to safety.”
Maykel is now learning the English language and adjusting well as a 5th grade student at Flagami Elementary.
Chief Moffett knows all too well how it feels to struggle as a migrant. Born in Guyana, his family moved to Canada when he was 6 before they settled in Miami while he was a teenager.
He remembers the struggles his family went through and how they relied on social assistance during their adjustment to their new surroundings. He also recalls how his father positively impacted his future when he pushed him to establish and reach his own goals.
Although the students and their families appreciated their wrapped gifts immensely, Chief Moffett’s greatest gift was his compassionate and inspirational message of motivation and hope.