Puerto Rico and U.S. flags

Joining Forces: WPI Students and Worcester Police Team Up to Help Those Affected by Hurricane Maria

Media Contact
November 06, 2017

On Thursday, Nov. 9, a group of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) students who were supposed to spend this academic term working on projects in Puerto Rico will meet with members of the Worcester Police Department who have just returned from the hurricane-ravaged island. The groups will discuss the needs of the people of Puerto Rico who are still living on the island, as well as the many Puerto Ricans who are expected to resettle in Worcester. 

Where:           Worcester Police Headquarters

                        9-11 Lincoln Square

                        Worcester, Massachusetts

When:             Thursday, November 9, 2017, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

More Information:

All WPI students must complete two significant research projects in order to graduate. WPI’s Global Projects Program offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in tackling real problems, develop an understanding of other cultures, and see how their lives and work can make a real impact. The university established a project center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, over 20 years ago and has built strong relationships with various organizations in the metropolitan area and around the island.

Over the past two months, nearly two dozen WPI students immersed themselves in preparing for community-based projects there. Due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, all those projects were cancelled. The students are now working with various Central Massachusetts agencies to identify ways their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and problem-solving skills can be used to support Puerto Rico and its residents as they address this humanitarian crisis.

To help these students better understand the mass destruction caused by Hurricane Maria and the dire needs of the Puerto Rican people, a team of Worcester Police officers will share their firsthand knowledge; each of these officers have family in Puerto Rico, and they spent nearly two weeks on the island after the hurricane. The information the officers will share through stories, photos, and video could impact the students’ revised projects as they work to help rebuilding in Puerto Rico and resettlement efforts in Central Massachusetts.

Members of the media are invited to attend the informational meeting. Representatives from WPI and the Worcester Police Department will be available for interviews.