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Town hall to offer support for Bahamian students at FAMU

Posted at 5:18 PM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 17:18:39-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Students from the Bahamas at Florida A&M University are getting help and support from the university and each other.

This after Hurricane Dorian devastated their hometowns and the full extent of the damage has not yet been realized.

"There was a student whose family, whole family, just got wiped out. That really goes to heart that really does," said Agnes Coppin, Director of International Students/Scholar at FAMU.

Complete destruction. That's what Hurricane Dorian left behind in the Bahamas. Here in Tallahassee the last few days have been terrifying for the 38 Bahamian students attending FAMU trying to get in touch with loved ones.

"It's a gut-wrenching helpless feeling. Just following everything on Twitter and Facebook and seeing everybody crying out for help and there is literally nothing you can do," said Donervin Bastian, a senior at FAMU.

Bastian couldn't get through to his family until Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. Luckily, they were all okay. Sheniqua Tucker's family is also safe, but she says she is traumatized.

"I've been trying to hold it together and stay off social media just to keep peace of mind. I'm just trying to hold it together for my family," said Tucker, a senior at FAMU.

Holding it together, something the university is hoping to help with while asking that people in Tallahassee keep all these students and their families in our thoughts and prayers.

"It's already a challenge to be studying in the US as an international student, away from your family. And then you have this terrible tragedy and that makes it even more difficult," said William T. Hyndman III, Assistant V.P. of International Education & Development at FAMU.

School officials say they will be flexible and understanding when it comes to helping students who may have financial difficulties because of the hurricane.

Wednesday's town hall meeting gets underway at 5:30 p.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium. Students are invited to speak and get help from counselors.

The president of the university, Larry Robinson, will be there as well as representatives from the Office of International Education.