The University of Central Florida Puerto Rico Research Hub (PRRH) has been awarded a $500,000 grant supporting its research capabilities in the areas of social and economic trends in Puerto Rico. The FY2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act included this grant.
Rep. Darren Soto, a Florida legislator who supports statehood for Puerto Rico, was a driving force behind getting the funds to UCF.
The PRRH is an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Central Florida. It is dedicated to understanding the social and economic trends in Puerto Rico and their impacts on the island’s people, culture, and economy. The “four pillars” that guide their work:
- Conducting academic research
- Engaging UCF students
- Srengthening partnerships
- Promoting engagement through community outreach
The PRRH is comprised of faculty, staff, and students from across the University of Central Florida, as well as local and international partners. The Hub’s research focuses on a range of topics including economic development, public policy, public health, education, and environmental science. Through its work, the PRRH provides valuable data and insights to government, industry, and other stakeholders.
“There is no better investment than education and research to understand the impact of the continuous growth of the Puerto Rican population in Florida, particularly in Central Florida,” says Fernando Rivera, PRRH director. “Understanding and coming up with solutions to the pressing issues encountered by this important segment of the population is not only important for Puerto Ricans in Florida, but to all who live and call Central Florida home.”
Plans for the funds
The $500,000 in funding will enable the PRRH to expand its research capabilities, create infographics and reports, and add staff as well as hardware and software to support their projects.
While the focus of the PRRH is on central Florida, their educational mission may help Puerto Rico, too. The Hub plans to work with the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras, to publish a magazine. They also hope to provide important information to members of Congress and state officials.