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Program helps homeless students succeed in school

Project UP-START provides support to homeless students in Miami-Dade County


MIAMI – A South Florida program is working to help thousands of homeless students have the resources they need to succeed in school.

Project UP-START provides support to more than 6,000 homeless students within Miami-Dade County.

They have a store-like room filled with donations like backpacks, supplies, clothing and even food. All of the donations are given to the homeless students free of charge.

"We want our kids to feel good about going back to school," said Diana Rizikow Venturini, who works for Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho continues to support Project UP-START because he, too, was once homeless.

"I know what it's like to feel the harsh concrete as your mattress and the stars as your blanket," Carvalho said. "I don't want kids in our community to feel that same experience."