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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.

Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Ian A. Moffett and Mrs. Moffett (right) pose with Esteban Hernández and his family, they are joined by Rachel Bueno (left) Educational Specialist for Title I Migrant Program where Hernández’ children study. Moffett stopped by to deliver Walmart gift cards donated by The Miami Herald readers for Hernandez and his family. Esteban was nominated by Moffett to be featured in The Miami Herald as part of their annual holiday series Wish Book.

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.

Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Ian A. Moffett (left) poses with Ismary Rey and her son Robert Docina, they are joined by Yamila Carballo, principal at The English Center where Ismary is a student. Moffett stopped by to deliver Walmart gift cards donated by The Miami Herald readers for Ismary and her family. Ismary was featured in the paper as part of their annual holiday series Wish Book. For more than 30 years, the Miami Herald Wish Book Program has spotlighted the needs of less fortunate individuals in South Florida.

Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Ian A. Moffett (left) poses with Ismary Rey and her son Robert Docina, they are joined by Yamila Carballo, principal at The English Center where Ismary is a student. Moffett stopped by to deliver Walmart gift cards donated by The Miami Herald readers for Ismary and her family. Ismary was featured in the paper as part of their annual holiday series Wish Book.