Community space created for Canes

WORKING HARD: Asia Samuel has been a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters for the past two years. On Sunday, BBBS painted a room for UM students to use as a gathering space in Allen’s Drug Store and Diner. Jessica Hodder//The Miami Hurricane

Thanks to one service-oriented organization, University of Miami students now have a new place to show their school pride.

This Sunday, the UM chapter of Big Brothers and Big Sisters (BBBS) remodeled the second-floor room in S&S Diner, a part of the community’s historic Allen’s Drugstore, into a UM-themed recreational space.

The drugstore, a South Florida-based business that has been on Bird Road since the 1940s, has always catered to UM students and hopes to attract even more Canes with the new rec room.

“We’re doing the upstairs to be called the U-Room,” said S&S Diner manager Carlos Cardona. “We want them to enjoy the free Wi-Fi and TV to watch the football games and set up study groups in a welcoming environment.”

Students and alumni will receive 10 percent discounts on authentic, inexpensive diner food while they enjoy the Norman Rockwell-esque atmosphere of the 50s-style diner.

In addition to its proximity and good relations with UM students, Cordona says that the diner has worked with the one-on-one mentor organization in the past,and enjoys helping forge valuable friendships between bigs and littles.

Orange and green paint and amused children filled the diner’s upstairs room. The event allowed BBBS leaders to spend time painting and redecorating together with their little brothers and sisters, or “littles.” The group brought out their littles as a part of their regular weekend excursions.

BBBS president Nicole Collazo makes sure to take her little out at least twice a month, whether it is to eat, see a movie or just run errands.

“Events like these are a good way to get littles involved in the community and also let us spend more time bonding,” Collazo said.

The room will be dedicated to BBBS with a plaque, honoring them for their service.

According to BBBS member Alejandro Fonseca, who attended the event with his little, the club will be hosting more events like these to raise awareness about the organization and connect the children with their community.

“The kids that were there had a great time working on this, so hopefully this will be a place where future bigs and littles can come to hang out, watch games together and have fun,” Fonseca said.

Nicolette Roque may be contacted at

If you go

S&S Diner, 4000 SW 57 Ave.

Call: (305) 668-6556


To become involved

Contact: BBBS President Nicole Collazo at