Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Mirta Fuentes is a lifelong children's advocate and volunteer who graduated from Barry University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Liberal Studies from the School of Professional and Career Education. Fuentes has been called “The Mother Teresa of Miami” because of her work with so many people including immigrants and the poor. In 2011, Florida's governor named her Volunteer of the Year for her work representing abused and abandoned children with the Guardian ad Litem program. At 13, Fuentes, along with her 9-year-old brother, came from Cuba without their parents. Her family reunited in Washington D.C. three years later. Since 2007, Fuentes has worked at Little Havana's Leadership Learning Center, which services 100 needy children, with another 200 on a waiting list. More than 20 years ago, Fuentes helped establish “Amigos for Kids” where she served as Director of Child Affairs for 17 years helping underprivileged children in Miami.